Our AGM meeting will be online via Zoom on Wednesday 17th November 2021, from 19:00 to 19:40 and a link to the meeting will be provided by email on the day of the meeting to anyone who wishes to participate.

Due to the public health emergency this year’s AGM will consist of the minimum statutory business and all voting will be by proxy. We will contact members who have voting rights and invite them to instruct the Chair to cast their vote. Or, if they wish they can leave the choice to the Chair.

Please see the attached meeting agenda and reports pack. You can get more details or make any comments by emailing: info@RMNF.org.uk

2021 – RMNF AGM – Agenda and Reports Pack

Protecting the moors around Rochdale

Off-road mitigation measures

Now is perhaps a good time to let people know our forum is involved in a project to introduce off-road mitigation measures to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in the area with particular regard to off-road bikes, quads and 4x4s.
Work started on the first phase of the project on Tuesday 27th April 2021 to replace 1km of damaged fencing along part of Edenfield Road, near to Owd Betts in Norden. There are a number of rights of way to consider, one of which is a bridleway. The plan is to replace the fence and place new gates, styles and vehicle barriers at various points to restrict unauthorised vehicle access onto the moor.
In Rochdale we are fortunate to have guidance and advice from Rochdale Council’s Public Rights of Way Officer, who is acting as the project lead. Together we have raised over £13,000 and financial contributions have come from RMNF, Rochdale Ward and Township Funds, the Lord of the Manor of Rochdale, Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association, the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy Office of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Greater Manchester High Sheriffs Police Trust.

Why are we doing this

Evidence shows that large numbers of off-road vehicles regularly travel from outside the Rochdale area, from as far away as Merseyside, Cheshire, Derbyshire and beyond, in order to illegally ride or drive on the moors. So far the furthest travelled and apprehended has been from Edinburgh! These off-road vehicles, particularly motorbikes, quads and 4x4s are causing significant environmental damage to the surrounding moorland peat (a natural carbon store), damaging wildlife (especially ground nesting birds) and putting upland farming at risk by distressing grazing cattle and sheep – large areas of the moorland in our area is Common Land where Commoners exercise their “Rights of Common” to graze sheep and cattle. Significant damage is being caused to footpaths and bridleways and sadly there are reports of legitimate users of these facilities (farmers, equestrians, ramblers and cyclists, etc.) being put at risk and threatened with physical violence.
  • Watch the BBC North West Tonight news item broadcast on Wednesday 31st March 2021 by clicking HERE.
  • Read a Rossendale Free Press article by clicking HERE.
  • Rossendale & Pendle Mountain Rescue Team reported, “The moors have become horrendously devastated by illegal trials bikers ripping through the hillside creating vast areas of deep rutted land. At daytime it’s bad enough but in the pitch of night it proved nearly impossible to navigate but thanks to specialist kit and thorough training (but some 4 hours later), the casualty was off the hill and safely going to hospital for further treatment.” Read more HERE.

What the Police are doing

Operation Dragster is the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) response to these illegal off-road activities and last year, at the start of the first lockdown, the Police expanded Operation Dragster due to increased complaints. As a consequence of Operation Dragster, our forum along with a large number of residents and their ward councillors became actively involved in regular Zoom meetings with our Neighbourhood Beat Officers to discuss these issues and to see what could be done to improve the situation. At these meetings a number of opportunities were identified to reduce unauthorised motor vehicle access to the moors and our GMP Neighbourhood Beat Officers have been outstanding in liaising with the community and helping to tackle these issues. Together we have built positive working relationships with Lancashire Police, the GMP Off Road Bike Team, local Councillors, the Rights of Way Officers in Rochdale and Rossendale Council, local landowners – in particular United Utilities and the agent for the Lord of the Manor of Rochdale, the West Pennines Commoners Association, the Rochdale Ramblers, Rossendale & Pendle Mountain Rescue Team, community groups such as Prickshaw & Broadley Fold Neighbourhood Watch and the equestrian community through the Rochdale & Bury Bridleway Association.
GMP advise enforcement activity will continue throughout this year.

Next steps

All of the organisations involved in this project have been consulted and are looking at what learnings they can take to do something similar in the surrounding area. Lancashire Police have recently introduce “Rossendale’s Rural Task Force” and we have asked local Members of Parliament, The Right Honourable Jake Berry, Tony Lloyd and Chris Clarkson to approach wind farm companies in the area to get involved.

What you can do

We hope you all agree the moors in our area should be a safe place for locals and visitors to enjoy, especially given how the current pandemic has shown our green spaces to be incredibly beneficial to the health and wellbeing of so many legitimate users.
We still need people to report illegal off-road vehicles, please contact the Police on 101, or use the ‘live chat’ facility on the Greater Manchester Police website.



Our AGM meeting will be online via Zoom on Thursday 12th November 2020, from 19:00 to 19:40 and a link to the meeting will be provided by email on the day of the meeting to anyone who wishes to participate.

Due to the public health emergency this year’s AGM will consist of the minimum statutory business and all voting will be by proxy. We will contact members who have voting rights and invite them to instruct the Chair to cast their vote. Or, if they wish they can leave the choice to the Chair.

Please see the attached meeting agenda and reports pack. You can get more details or make any comments by emailing: info@RMNF.org.uk

20201112 – RMNF AGM – Agenda and Reports Pack

Invitation to the AGM

Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum Annual General Meeting

The AGM will be held on Thursday 21st November 2019 from 7:30pm at Spotland Methodist Church, Rooley Moor Road, Rochdale OL12 7ES

Everyone is warmly invited to attend this years AGM where we will report on the successes and challenges of the last year.

All views are welcome and voting for resolutions and candidates standing for election shall be taken by a simple majority of votes cast at the meeting (including proxy votes). Every member has one vote.

Proxy voting – Any member of the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) may appoint another person as a proxy to exercise all or any of that member’s rights to attend, speak and vote at a general meeting of the CIO. Proxies must be appointed by a notice in writing (a “proxy notice”) – please see our constitution for further details.

The charity trustees consider voting by post or email is not required.

You may like to look at the AGM Agenda and Reports Pack, which includes the trustees report and financial statements, ahead of the meeting. This can be found online by clicking HERE.

We look forward to seeing you in November and to hearing your views and opinions about Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email: info@RMNF.org.uk

Diary Dates

Pennine Prospects

Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage

Good afternoon,

Apologies for it being a while since my last update.  It has been a busy start to the year with the final batch of woodland surveys being undertaken.  Only two more left to go and then loads of reporting.

But that will not be the end of activities this year.  Oh no! the project continues up to December, starting with a Woodland Festival this coming Sunday (see poster).  So here are a few dates for the diary:

March 24th

Woodland Festival as Hollingworth Lake hosted by Rochdale Council as part of the project (see attached poster)

April 13th

The Archaeology of Redisher Woods walk hosted by Friends of Redisher Wood Local Nature Reserve: https://www.facebook.com/events/240348600175407/

April 27th

Smithills Woodland Archaeology Walk hosted by the Woodland Trust: https://www.facebook.com/events/963493467372651/

May 11th

QGIS Workshop in Hebden Bridge (more details to follow)

Learn how  to use QGIS, a Geographical Information System software used by archaeologist when undertaking site and landscape wide investigations.  The software has been used widely as part of the Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage project to manage the survey, view and analysis Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data as well as to georeferenced historic maps.  If you fancy learning how to use it for yourself this is your chance (more information will be available next month for this event)

June 13th & 14th

Woodland Heritage Festival at Hollingworth Lake hosted by Rochdale Council as part of the project

June 16th – 29th

Community Excavation of possible First World War practice trenches recorded in Long Wood, Copley during the survey season of 2018.  (more information to follow)

September (sometime and for charity)

Join me for a weekend walk along the Rochdale to Ilkley Roman Road and laugh as I do it dressed as a Roman Legionary to help raise money for a mental health charity.

Oh and there will be a further one or two woodland walks, where you can again laugh at me dressed as a 14th century peasant (it’s a tough job … )!

There will be more events but I need to confirm dates and details.  Not least for a couple of project round-up events later this year which will include the launch of the project book and sculpture trails.

Speak to you soon

All the best


Christopher Atkinson BA (Hons) MA

Heritage and Landscape Development Manager

Honorary Visiting Lecturer in SAFS University of Bradford

HLF Project – Update

Touchstones Session – Saturday 3rd February

We have our RMNF session at Touchstones this coming Saturday from 12.30pm.  Janet Byrne (Local Studies Supervisor) is going to collate information on Rooley Moor, Greenbooth and Healey Dell to show us, and is going to guide us through the process of researching our particular areas of interest.

So that we can manage expectations at Touchstones please let us know if you will or will not be there (email: info@rmnf.org.uk).  This is a great opportunity (financed by our HLF grant) to get involved, and we will be able to take copies and make return visits as we need. The agenda is very flexible, we expect the session will last a couple of hours and people will be able to come and go as they wish.

If you are coming, we suggest having a think beforehand about what you would like to get out of the session.  For example, some have said they would like to learn a bit more about people who lived in the area, about the naming of Rooley Moor, the cobbled road, and how the moors have been used over the years.  But the agenda is very open.  Maybe you’d like to know more about the history of your own house and we could recreate the new BBC TV series “A House Through Time”!

Ultimately the outcome from this, and subsequent research, will be the content for the signage and trails we are putting together for the HLF project.  And the more people that are involved the better.

Some of us are going to meet just before 12 in the café at Touchstones for a quick sandwich before the session – join us if you can.

Please do let us know whether you can or cannot join us (email: info@rmnf.org.uk).

Community Consultation Update

What you told us.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our Community Questionnaire on the Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Plan!

The Neighbourhood Forum has considered all your responses to the questions we asked you. The attached PDF document and the following detail provides a summary of what you told us and what the Plan’s policies and Proposals should seek to achieve.

A full detailed report is being prepared and when it’s ready we will make it available to read or download from our website.

Built Heritage

You told us:

  • Conservation areas, their settings, listed buildings and heritage features should receive strong protection
  • Key heritage features should be protected, promoted and enhanced, e.g. the Cotton Famine Road

Built Development

You told us:

  • New development should be limited to that which is appropriate in the Green Belt
  • New development should satisfy high standards of design to ensure local character and identity are retained
  • Extensions, alterations and conversions should be supported provided that they respect local character and heritage
  • Redundant and disused buildings should be brought back into use

Greenspaces and Environment

You told us:

  • Key open spaces should be identified for protection and improvement
  • Local landscape quality and character should be protected and improved
  • Areas of nature conservation should be strongly protected and new areas established
  • Trees and hedgerows should be protected
  • Renewable or alternative energy should be encouraged provided it is of an appropriate scale and type and does not harm the landscape and heritage features

Countryside management and farming

You told us:

  • Rural occupations should be supported
  • Farm diversification should be supported, especially where it provides recreational opportunities, better land management, re-use of rural buildings etc.


You told us:

  • Key routes for walking, cycling and riding .e.g. the Mary Townley Loop, and access to them should be developed, promoted and improved
  • Links between attractions should be improved and promoted (e.g. Healey Dell)
  • Recreational activities which detract from environmental quality or the local landscape should be discouraged
  • Equestrian activities and facilities of an appropriate scale should be supported


You told us:

  • Better visitor facilities, like parking, are required
  • Traffic calming on Rooley Moor Road, and improvements to roads, lanes, and footpaths are needed
  • Footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways need improvement and their use by those with impaired mobility increased
  • Signage and interpretation information needs to be improved
  • Conflicts between cyclists, horseriders, walkers and vehicular traffic should be addressed


You told us:

  • Countryside visitor facilities should be improved, e.g. signage, interpretation, parking etc.
  • Low key, small scale overnight accommodation would be appropriate
  • Opportunities to promote interest in local heritage, rural skills, nature appreciation should be taken

We aim to address all these things through the Plan’s policies and proposals and to balance all interests in the area as best we can. The policies will provide extra detail to the Council’s existing planning policies and ensure that we can influence decisions on planning applications and investment decisions to best meet the interests of the Rooley Moor area and community.   When we publish the plan, you will have an opportunity to comment on all the detail of the policies before we finalise it.

Continue reading “Community Consultation Update”