Sunday, 24th April 2016

Walk: Whittle Hill, Cowpe Lowe, Top of Leach, Top of Pike, Hunger Hill and Knowl Hill
Start Point: Ashworth Moor Reservoir Grid Reference: SD 831 158
Distance: 14 miles Ascent: 2,500 feet
Time: 7.25 hours
Weather: Cold with light snow at times

When we set off the weather looked fine, but by the time we had reached Turf Moor it had started snowing! We skirted Turf Moor following a well-defined track and as height was gained the full extent of the huge Scout Moor Wind Farm suddenly came into view. Completed in 2008 the 26 Nordex N80 wind turbines form one of the largest onshore wind farms in England. These are visible from miles away, but it is only when you walk under them, as we did to reach Scout Moor Cairn, that you begin to appreciate their impact on the landscape. The horizon of Lancashire and Yorkshire in all directions was now totally disfigured by these unsightly structures.

From here we headed off, via the Rossendale way, to bag our first trig point of the day on Cowpe Low. On the way we passed Waugh's Well which was built in 1866 to commemorate Edwin Waugh at the now derelict Fo Farm, where he spent much time writing, on the moors above Waterfoot, Rossendale. Born the son of a shoemaker in Rochdale in 1817, Edwin Waugh was perhaps one of the most successful of the Lancashire dialect poets.

By now the snow had stopped so there were quite clear views of parts of Lancashire never before seen by some Lancastrians in the group!

We left the Rossendale Way to climb ‘Top of Leach’ before dropping down onto Rooley Moor Road (The Cotton Famine Road). This is a Victorian stone road which at an altitude of over 1500 feet lays claim to being one of the highest roads in England. Reference to published work by local historians reveal a connection between Rooley Moor and Lancashire Mill workers in their support of US President Lincoln and the Union cause in the American Civil War. The Union blockade of Confederate ports during the American Civil War led to shortages of raw cotton supplies to Lancashire- then the world’s leading producer of finished cotton goods. Although there were some supplies from other countries, the deficit caused by the lack of American supplies was described at the time as a “famine” hence the name “The Cotton Famine Road.”

We took a slight detour to visit Bagden Hillocks cairn which is a Bronze Age cairn (2000BC).  It was then on to the trig points on Hunger Hill and Knowl Hill before returning to our cars.

View from Turf Moor over Ashworth Moor Reservoir

Climbing up Whittle Hill

The summit comes into view

John and Tony visit one of the wind turbines

Whittle Hill summit

We cross Scout Moor wind farm

Looking down to Scout Moor reservoir

We stop at Waugh’s Well

Information board

More turbines

Summit of Cowpe Low

Following the Rossendale Way through Cowpe Moss

Looking down to Cowpe Moss reservoir

Top of Leach Summit

Looking over Rooley Moor and the reservoirs

The Cotton Famine Road

The Bagden Hillocks Bronze Age cairn

We visit the Top of Pike cairn

More wind turbines on the horizon

The trig point on Hunger Hill

View across Greenbooth Reservoir

Dropping down to Naden Middle Reservoir

Looking down onto Naden higher Reservoir

Our final summit, Knowl Hill comes into view

Knowl Hill

We pass this cross on the way down to our cars

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