Ding Quarry

Rochdale and Bury District Bridleways wish to explain why we object to the Ding Quarry excavation.

In the Lanehead, Norden, Bamford and Birtle area there are in excess of 480 horses kept, many of which regularly ride this bridleway. As a group we work hard to preserve, protect and reinstate ancient routes to create a safe environment for owners to enjoy riding their horses.

Over many years of hard work and perseverance the bridleway which runs alongside Ding Quarry formed part of a route known as the Pennine Bridleway. This part of which is known as The Mary Townley Loop, in honour of a lifetime of work by Mary Townley herself and others in getting this right of way legally acknowledged, opened and secure for the future. It brings substantial tourism to the area and is well known across the country. The circular route takes approximately three days to complete. It is enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and riders alike.

The proposal to open the quarry would destroy this part of the bridleway as it would become unsafe to take a horse past a working quarry. The vehicles required to transport the stone would also create havoc for many horses and ponies on what should be a safe and pleasant experience. Horses like any other animal are very sensitive to loud noise and earth disturbance which the opening of this quarry would undoubtedly create.

Most horse owners in this area are a far cry from the image of the privileged classes. We all work very hard to allow us the opportunity to own and ride our horses and ponies. Many of us make great personal sacrifices for our love of our animals.

A great deal of effort goes into ensuring our riding is safe for both horse and rider and the general public. We try wherever possible to avoid situations which would put us, or other rights of way users at risk. This proposal to open the quarry would put us all in unnecessary danger.

Over the years with urban development in the area we have seen the routes we can ride massively reduced. It is imperative that we reverse this trend. The enjoyment of riding in the countryside around Rochdale has been compromised in recent years. Many adult riders lament the days when rural access was never seen to be an issue. We find fewer and fewer routes which avoid increasingly busy roads. This ancient pack horse route is one such rare opportunity to enjoy the moors above Rochdale.

This proposal to open the quarry seriously affects the balance of rural and urban economies. Just in our small area, horse owners put in excess of £1mill per year into the local economy. It is very hard to think of any other leisure activity which plays such an important role in the local economy. Many farmers would not have survived if they had not diversified into horses. There are businesses such as feed suppliers, saddlers and farriers, within Rochdale, whose survival is totally dependent upon horse ownership. We estimate that in our area there are over 200 jobs created by horse ownership with a knock on effect for many others. If the trend to reduce our ancient routes continues fewer people in this area will believe the sacrifices they make for their horses are worth it. The number of horses will reduce. This will have a detrimental effect on the economy and image of Rochdale in an environment where people’s perception is already on the decline. Do we want our town to become just a declining industrial area past its “sell by date”, or can we do something positive for the area and preserve our heritage by stopping Ding Quarry?

Press Release

Press Release

Press Release


Press Release