An East Lancashire community group met up for an organised safety walk at a Ribble Valley beauty spot to campaign against illicit ‘dogging’ activities.

Members of the Facebook group, Reclaim Back Lane, met up to walk along Back Lane which lies in a rural position between the villages of Sabden, Simonstone and Read, on Saturday. 

Several members of the group walked with signs which read “walking together for safety” and “reclaim Back Lane”.

Lancashire Telegraph: Members of Reclaim Back Lane Facebook group marched against illicit 'dogging' activities in their local areaMembers of Reclaim Back Lane Facebook group marched against illicit 'dogging' activities in their local area

The lane is a well-known ‘dogging hotspot’ in the area with reports of illicit activities on the stretch of land dating back as far as 20 years, according to reports on the Facebook group.

Now, walkers, cyclists, joggers and horse riders want to ‘reclaim’ the lane after recently reported a worrying rise in incidents that have left them feeling unsafe or intimidated on the country road.

The aim of the Reclaim Back Lane Facebook group was to report any suspicious activity on the lane, which will then be passed onto police and councillors.

In just one month since the formation of the group, members of Reclaim Back Lane have reported witnessing indecent exposure, cruising, intimidation, prostitution, fly-tipping and the presence of used needles. 

“The reports point to the fact that where one offence is present, others often follow,” said Mary Lee-Slade, who initially established the campaign. 

Lancashire Telegraph: Mary Lee-SladeMary Lee-Slade

“As a community we believe that these sorts of incidents should not be allowed to continue on our local lane.”

The group’s aim is to deter those responsible for the antisocial and unlawful behaviour from Back Lane with the assistance of the authorities, including the local councils, the police and their local MP.

Borough Councillor for Read and Simonstone and Chairman of Simonstone Parish Council, David Peat, attended the event and as well as broaching the subject at the next council meeting; he is also lobbying the police to take action. 

“Local residents and others must be able to enjoy the peaceful countryside and their recreation without being pestered,” said Councillor Peat. 

“We have asked local folk to be vigilant, careful and report any concerns to the police.”

Following the group walk, the next step for Reclaim Back Lane is to continue collating evidence and to encourage other organised groups to use the area in the hope that their presence will drive away the lewd behaviour. 

Reclaim Back Lane car signs have been produced for legitimate users of the lane to display in their vehicles, so that they can be easily differentiated, and members are following a set procedure for reporting incidents. 

To support the campaign, please visit the Reclaim Back Lane Facebook group at