Sunday, 26th February 2017

Walk: Lench Road, Higher Lench, Lowe Lodge, Cowpe Lowe, Cragg Quarry, Top of Leach(1555 feet), Rooley Moor Road, Jackson’s Moor and Brandwood Moor, Top o’ th’ Height, Hugh Mill.
Start Point: Warth Old Road Car Park, Waterfoot Grid Reference: SD 833 217
Distance: 8 miles Ascent: 1,250 feet
Time: 4.5 hours
Weather: Better than forecast. Very windy with some light rain. Visibility poor in the rain, but clear most of the time.
Comments: 12 walkers. The car park is on the line of the former East Lancashire Railway, opened in 1848 and closed in 1966.The steep ascent up Lench Road to Higher Lench was chosen in preference to a very wet and muddy path that links Lower and Higher Lench.
The track along the edge above Cowpe that goes from Black Hill to Rooley Moor Road is along the line of a former tramway built to serve Cragg Quarry. At one time there was over 11 miles of narrow gauge railway on the moors. It must have been an awesome sight to look up from the valley bottom in Waterfoot and see a steam train along the line of the edge.
Top of Leach is the highest point of the Rossendale Way, a 45 mile circuit starting from Clough Head, Haslingden Grane.The five-sided stone pillar near the Top of Leach trig point was erected to commemorate the creation of the Borough of Rossendale as part of Local Government reorganisation in 1974. The Rooley Moor Road is one of Lancashire’s ancient pack horse roads linking Rochdale to Burnley and Clitheroe and famously was surfaced with stone flags during the Lancashire Cotton Famine in the 1860s, a job creation scheme.

Hardy horses near the top of Cowpe Lowe

Belted Galloways are well suited to Rossendale terrain and climate

This is a very interesting information board near Cragg Quarry.
It provides details of the narrow gauge tramways

Looking down through the mist on to Cragg High Level Tank on the reccie

It was a short diversion from the Rooley Moor Road
to the highest point of the walk at Top of Leach

Trig point on Top of Leach on the reccie

This stone commemorating local government reorganisation in 1974 really puzzled us on the reccie

This stone, on Rooley Moor Road and close to Top of Leach,
commemorates the opening of the Rossendale Way on 28 April 1985

Heading south along the Rooley Moor Road

The wettest part of the walk was across Brandwood Moor, once the site of three collieries

Heading back to Waterfoot on the reccie

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