Battle goes on to keep Silverdale path open

The closed path which is the main entrance from Moss Lane into Trowbarrow Quarry.
The closed path which is the main entrance from Moss Lane into Trowbarrow Quarry.

Campaigners are battling to stop a popular route into a Silverdale quarry from permanent closure.

Residents say the main entrance to Trowbarrow Quarry from Moss Lane has been used by walkers for more than 150 years.

But the pathway closed six months ago forcing walkers to take difficult routes.

Trowbarrow level crossing runs through one of the routes and visitors take regularly risks to get to the other side.

One resident, Tim Mackintosh, 64, from Silverdale, has set up the Facebook group ‘Save our Silverdale footpath’ in the hope of it being opened again.

Mr Mackintosh uses the quarry everyday to take his dog for a walk but is worried about others being led onto dangerous trails.

He said: “There are no notices telling people what is the safest way, so they make it up for themselves.

“Residents have worked out ways around it but others from around the country won’t have a clue.

“People are unequipped crossing the railway, it is the only proper footpath into the quarry.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Anyone using Trowbarrow level crossing should follow the warnings and safety advice in place and only cross when it is safe to do so.”

The other available route takes walkers across Silverdale Golf Club.

Mr Mackintosh said: “It could be a bit of a problem for the club if more people end up walking across their fairways.”

Owner of the closed pathway, Mr Ken Gregory, 57, stresses he had right reasons to shut it.

Mr Gregory said: “I have got issues with Lancaster City Council who put in a car park without even asking me. They took my fence down.

“We have a right of way across this land.

“I said until this is resolved I’m not having the public coming across when you are building this car park.”

The path does not exist on Lancashire County Council’s Definitive Map and as a result it has not acquired the normal rights associated with footpaths.

Lancaster City Council currently own Trowbarrow Quarry with Lancashire County Council being responsible for the public right of way.

Andrew Dobson, chief officer of regeneration and planning, said: “We’re currently working closely with Lancashire County Council and are in detailed discussions with the landowner in order to find a mutually agreeable solution to resolve the public access situation at Trowbarrow Quarry.” Trowbarrow Local Nature Reserve is a disused limestone quarry with geological features including fossil beds, faults and other rocks.