HUNDREDS of protesters are going to walk, cycle and ride on horseback across the length of a 19th Century cobbled route from Waterfoot to Rochdale in a bid to protect it from developers.
Bosses at Coronation Power could be planning to tear up the historic route and replace it with an access road to be used by vehicles transporting 12 giant windmills proposed for Rooley Moor windfarm.
The road is part of the Pennine Bridleway and the Mary Towneley Loop and is regularly used by horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers from either side of the route.
At the protest, on Sunday, May 25, the groups will meet at the middle point, by the ruins of the Moorcock pub, to give talks about the windfarm proposals.
Graham Wright, chair-man of the Rossendale Harriers and member of campaign group the Friends of Rooley Moor Road, said people were ‘up in arms’ about the plans.
He said: “It’s a superb cobbled road that stretches across moorland, and it was made by cotton workers in the mid-1800s, who did a brilliant job.
“It’s regularly used by many different groups and individuals and we’re keen to get as many people who want to save the road, or who object to the windfarm, to come and join us.”
Rossendale MP Jake Berry has also voiced his opposition to the scheme as part of his ‘Not On Our Hills’ protest movement.
A spokesman for Coronation Power said: “The Coronation team are conscious of the local historical significance and amenity value of Rooley Moor Road, and are considering various ways to protect the road.
“The team, which consists of environ-mental, haulage and construction experts, will be focusing on the cobble sets and will be providing a number of solutions to protect these sets so they can be preserved.
“During the construct-ion phase, Coronation is seeking to avoid the road where practical, and with regard to environmental constraints and the users of the moor.”
People taking part in the walk from the Rossendale side should meet at the car park at the bottom of Cowpe Road at 9.30am.
Those from Rochdale who are assembling for the walk should meet at Catley Lane Head at 10.30am.
The meeting at the ruins will take place at noon.