Milnrow & Newhey Bridleways Group

REPAIR: Carr Lane

We are currently working on a big project – the repair of Carr Lane in Milnrow.  Carr Lane is an important strategic link in the heart of our rights of way network but it has fallen into a dangerous state of disrepair. 

Carr Lane provides off-road access to the Pennine Bridleway, Rochdale Way, Littleborough and the Rapes Highway, a very old packhorse route from Milnrow to Marsden,   It is a restricted by-way and multi-user route, serving not only horse-riders but also mountain bikers, ramblers, walkers, runners, and anyone who wishes to explore the great outdoors.  

Carr Lane is part of our local heritage and would have been used as a main route in and out of Rochdale, something like the M62 of today.  People from Milnrow would have used the Lane back in the 1800s to get up to the Rapes Highway to Marsden where they could collect rushes for rushlights.  The pith of the rush would be dipped in animal fat and lit, in order to provide inexpensive lighting.

Unfortunately, Carr Lane is currently treacherous to use, whether on foot, bike or horseback, and it is in urgent need of repair to safeguard both local people and the visitors who wish to use it.  Due to the Lane's aspect, slope and volume of natural water running down the hillside, the repair needs to be of a non-eroding type, and the fix needs to be sustainable, so as to preserve the route for future generations.

With current estimations of £150 a metre, such a fix is not going to be cheap, so the 700 metre-long lane will require substantial funds to make it safe, and secure its future.  Unsurprisingly, the Council have insufficient funds to fix this right of way and so the bridleways group have taken on the mammoth task of fundraising.  We are running our own fundraising events, have just completed crowdfunding and we are in the process of identifying sources of funding for which we can apply.

Repairing Carr Lane will not, of course, benefit just individual horse riders.  We have two established riding schools in the area - Broad Carr Farm Riding School, Milnrow and Dickey Steps Riding School, Rakewood, who do an important job in teaching children, young people and adults, including those who are disabled, to ride and promoting health & well-being.  Furthermore, as the Lane is part of a larger route, it serves not only riders in the local community but also those visiting or passing through from further afield, e.g. Oxhey Western Trail Rides in Denshaw.


Repairing Carr Lane will also benefit the mountain bikers, ramblers, runners and walkers.  We've already made contact with some local rambling and walking groups who we know will benefit. The local Academy school have used the Lane for Duke of Edinburgh activities and cross-country running and support our plans and Evans Cycles organise mountain bike events in this area every year.


We would really like to hear from people in other user groups in our community, who would benefit from the repair of Carr Lane, and who would therefore share and support our vision.  So if there are any groups or individuals who are walkers, ramblers, mountain bikers or local historians, interested in preserving our local heritage, please get in touch.  We believe that Carr Lane is a community asset and together we can make a stronger application for funding and succeed in restoring this important right of way.


For  more news on Carr Lane, click the News links below


Contact Information

Milnrow & Newhey Bridleways Group

Meeting times

Meetings held 4 times a year