An East Lancashire woman is to hold a community group walk later this month in an attempt to deter ‘doggers’ from engaging in illicit activity in the area.

Mary Lee-Slade, who lives in a rural area of the Ribble Valley, said she no longer feels safe while walking along a stretch of road near Back Lane in Sabden after witnesses reported several ‘dogging’ related incidents there.

Mary decided to do something about it by getting in touch with local authorities and even setting up a Facebook group called ‘Reclaim Back Lane’, which at the time of writing has 335 followers.

The aim of the group is to share and report instances of intimidating and illicit behaviour so Mary can pass the information to the police and council.

Now, Mary has organised a group walk which she hopes the community and those who use Back Lane legitimately, are able to attend.

Mary explained: “I’ve seen that other communities had similar problems and group activities deter doggers and such away from the area.

“The group walk will bring the community together as a show of force to deter those using the lane for lewd activities.

“The more the lane is used by innocent community groups, the less it will be used by those causing the problem."

As well as erecting deterrence signs, Mary is planning on handing out badges to anyone planning to attend the event.

She explained: “We’ll be giving out car signs for those who legitimately park their vehicles whilst walking or cycling on the lane, so that they can easily be differentiated.

“It will also be a great opportunity for group members to put faces to names, therefore building a stronger and safer community network.”

The walk will take place on 30 October at 11am, starting in a car park on Back Lane.

According to Mary, the community’s response to the ‘Reclaim Back Lane’ group has been ”overwhelmingly positive”.

Many people have used the group to share their own stories and experiences on the lane.

Mary said: “People from the surrounding villages have been saying that it’s time something was done about it.

“It’s been going on for around years and it’s something people have had to live with as nothing has been done.”

However, Mary wants to be clear that it is a community group after some people accused members of ‘vigilantism’ with some men saying they no longer feel comfortable walking down the lane.

Mary explained: “It’s important for people to understand that we’re far from a group of women tarring all men with the same brush, we’re a community group of mixed genders whose aim is to make Back Lane a safe, crime-free place for everybody to enjoy. This isn’t about vigilantism.

“We have a set procedure to report illicit behaviour on Back Lane and we encourage everybody to follow the guidelines.

“We are a mixed gender group and our aim isn’t to push people out of the community at all – our aim is to make the lane as safe for the community as possible”

Find out more about the organised walk by visiting the event’s Facebook page.

Social, newsletters, subscriptions and getting in touch...

You can follow the Lancashire Telegraph on social media, by joining us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

We also have dedicated Facebook groups on Crime & Court, Traffic & Travel, Nostalgia and our Lancashire Family page

If you want to make sure you don't miss the most important news stories every day, sign up to one of our free e-mail newsletters 

Gain unlimited access to the Lancashire Telegraph website with a premium digital subscription - we are running a £2 for two months special offer

Or if you want the Telegraph newspaper delivered to your door, get in touch with our home delivery team or call us on 0800 953 0227

Finally, have you got a story for us? If so, contact our newsdesk at or by using our online contribution form