Snape Rake Lane, Lancashire
A few months back I was approached by the Lancashire Rights of Way officer to help do some repairs on a UCR called Snape Rake Lane. There were two reasons for this:
1 GLASS had helped in years gone by with repairs
2 Highways were too busy and if no repairs were done, there was a good possibility that vehicle rights could be lost to a TRO.
So I arranged a site visit to discuss what was required from us, and what the council would do. Once on site it was easy to see what had occurred due to a ‘bomb hole’ in the road with poor drainage. A local equestrian school were on average doing three trips a day along the road and were now travelling off-piste to the side, as horses had been getting stuck in the mud. Needless to say, the land owner wasn’t very happy about the state of the road, but understood the road carried rights for all users (a UCR, or ORPA if you prefer the OS term).
At the local GLASS meeting, volunteers were requested to help provide some ‘man’ power and vehicles, and the council would provide a local contractor to fill the hole in with stone, sort a run off drainage system and do repairs to some steps on the foot bridge. Our main priority was to discourage any further off piste activity by users.
I also contacted a few local 4x4 groups who were more than willing to help. These were:
Northern Monkey 4x4
Red Rose LRC
Blackpool and Flyde LRC
The day started by collecting from a local council yard tree stumps and materials then taking them to Snape Rake Lane. The land owner and his wife, Mr & Mrs Fitzherbert-Brockholes, turned up on-site in the morning and were overwhelmed by the response of volunteers willing to give their day up to help maintain a road open to all users. The hole was filled in and a French drain installed. We had approximately 20 people, 10 vehicles and 2 trailers on-site. We winched and man handled stuff into position making barricades to prevent illegal off-piste use.
It had been a very wet week previous to repairs and was still muddy around the area but the many hands made it easy work for us all. Many thanks to everyone that gave up their time.
Dean Spencer, Lancashire rep