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Dunham Celebration Ride


Bridleway 262 Rossendale is at the top of Elbut Lane and rises over the hill at Cuckoo Nar. It goes through the yard of Dunham Farm and eventually joins the top of Castle Hill Road. Both Elbut Lane and Castle Hill Road are side roads branching off the B6222 to the East of Bury. We believe that the bridleway was a packhorse road and evidence of a hard surface was discovered during the repair work. There was a pub called the Bluebells of Scotland just above Dunham Farm but it is no longer there. However it must have given the bridleway its name, Scotland Lane. Riders in the area call the bridleway Dunham after the farm. The views from the bridleway over Deeply Vale and towards the Pennines are stunning and you can see a long way on a clear day, even as far as the M62 going over the Pennines.

It was Irene's idea in the summer of 2010 to set in motion the repair of this bridleway. She took several contractors up there to get estimates for the cost of repairs and it eventually became clear that the Association’s funds could not cover the cost. In the autumn of 2011 we were advised to apply for an award from The Lancashire Environmental Fund and in January 2012 we were delighted to be awarded £4500 from LEF. Lancashire County Council then came on the scene and decided to up the specification of the repairs so that they would hopefully last for a greater number of years. This meant that the cost was increased but Lancashire County Council would take up the slack.

In the summer of 2011 we held 2 events to raise some funds for the repairs. Irene organised both events but they would not have been successful without the volunteer support from our members.  In July we organised an equine Treasure Hunt which was hosted by The Packhorse pub on Elbut Lane. They allowed us to use their car park on a Sunday afternoon from which the riders started their hunt .  In August we held a fun Le Trec competition at Robinson’s Equestrian Centre on Castle Hill Road. The proprietors, Stephen and Tracy Robinson, allowed us to use one of their barns as an office and refreshment room and 2 of their fields to run the Control of Paces section and the Obstacle Course. We had 60 riders taking part, some from as far afield as Blackpool. Both the Treasure Hunt and the Le Trec were won by stalwarts of our committee –Joan Snowdon and Gwen Mann. They did not receive any inside information! Together these 2 events raised nearly £500. We have also had donations from individuals in the local equestrian community and from the local ramblers group.

The exact cost of the repairs is not yet known because Lancashire County Council are paying the contractors and providing the additional funding above the £6000 we had originally raised (£4500 from LEF £1500 from our own funds). At the last estimate the total cost was in excess of £10,000. 

Thanks to Irene's perseverance and dogged determination the route is now a pleasure to use and the inaugural Celebration Ride was held on Saturday the 17th November 2012  



NOVEMBER 17th 2012

11 riders, all members of RBBA, 1 mountain biker (appropriately named Andy Dunham) and Arnold Sampson, a member of Rossendale Ramblers, met at Birtle Riding Centre to ride/walk/cycle the newly improved bridleway 262 that passes through Dunham Farm. The morning had started off wet but by the time the ride was ready for the off the skies had cleared and we even had some sunshine! We climbed the hill up Elbut Lane and at the top joined the bridleway which rises steeply up over the hill where we had a stunning view of the wind turbines in the sunshine on Scout Moor. We then descended onto the new stretch of bridleway down to Dunham Farm. The bridleway is riding very well and has had plenty of use since it has been refurbished. Once past the farm we returned to Birtle Riding Centre down Castle Hill Road. Most of the horses behaved although a couple were rather excited by meeting new equine friends and gave their riders an exciting time.

Take some time to peruse the attached booklet which gives some smashing photos of the ride pictures coming from a number of the members who participated on the day. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Rochdale & Bury Bridleways Association,
20 Nov 2012, 12:56