ECO-friendly campaigners are wanted to promote a new pathway which will link towns across East Lancashire.

Walking and cycling experts at Lancashire County Council are keen to launch a new friends group for a greenway which is being created along the former Rosegrove to Padiham railway line.

Under the Sustrans initiative, aiming to create a network of bridleways and cycleways nationwide, the Rosegrove end of the route would link in with another pathway in Great Harwood and it is hoped the Padiham path will eventually run to Barnoldswick.

Cycling officer Caroline Holden said: “What we want to do is organise a friends group.

“This will not only involve looking after the old railway line, and attending two or three events a year but also attending a couple of stakeholder meetings.”

The route received £1.56million in total, with the bulk of this coming from the Northwest Development Agency, £150,000 from the TV vote, arranged by the Big Lottery Fund and a recent £43,000 grant from Burnley Council to cover legal and acquistion costs.

Town and borough councillors are also being asked to form the membership of a steering group, to oversee progress and activities on site.

Caroline said it was probable that works on the old railway line would be completed by the autumn.

No planting would take place on the land until the end of the year, she said.

Padiham mayor Coun Vince Pridden said: “The linear park is a big project and one or two councillors here have been fighting for it since it started.”

Nearby residents have been concerned about the removal of mature trees along the line, in recent months, and county officials have pledged to consult locals about their future intentions for the area.

People interested in taking part in the friends group are asked to e-mail Caroline at caroline.holden or call her on 01772 532237.