The most northerly route connecting Helmshore Road and Ramsbottom is Footpath 53 which runs down from Highfield House / Higher Dickfield to Lower Dickfield. This is an ancient route; it was a road until about 1950 and the properties have the same post code even though they are now reached by entirely different routes.
The floods of Boxing Day 2015 caused a considerable landslide above Lower Dickfield Cottage, carrying hundreds of tons of soil into the clough below and leaving the footpath very close to the edge of an unstable cliff (see photos below).
The Council closed the footpath immediately for safety reasons. As a result, many walkers have been disappointed as they have had to retrace their steps. In early June a dog walker from Leigh came especially to walk this beautiful route only to have to turn around.
Some people have taken risks, even with children, as it wasn’t always apparent that the remaining path was on a precarious overhang.
The residents at Lower Dickfield had a scare when their blind dog bolted in a thunderstorm and was later found on a muddy ledge in the landslip.
However, in mid-June Bury’s Volunteer Rangers, led by Nature Reserve Officer, Paul Robinson, made a fantastic job of creating a new footpath with steps and a14-foot footbridge over a ditch.
Bury Rights of Way Officer, David Chadwick, has been supportive throughout and despite the cuts to services organised the work and funding for timber via the council.
Lynn and Peter Mather of Lower Dickfield Cottage are very thankful to the Volunteer Rangers for all their hard work….and so is their dog!