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Lumb Mill

Lumb Mill Greenway

Part of northern section of former railwayRoute in cuttingViaduct at LumbDisused bridge into Lumb Mill siteFormer Lumb Mill site

Site Description

This REMADE site is situated in the valley of the River Irwell, at the southern end of the Borough of Rossendale.  The site comprises two very different parcels of land, Lumb Mill, and the adjacent Greenway corridor, which are adjoined along a 500 metre length of the former railway between Lumb Viaduct and Alderbottom High Viaduct.  The northern end of the site is located approximately 2.5km south of Haslingden, and Ramsbottom lies immediately south of the site.

Grid Reference: 378948 419472

Size:  17Ha

Site Boundary

View the site boundary

Current Status

A section of the multi-use Greenway has already been created between Strongstry Road and Lumb Viaduct and formally designated as part of the National Cycle Network (Route 6).

The Lumb Mill element of the site occupies approximately 6Ha, and lies immediately to the west of the former railway.  The River Irwell is a major feature of this area, providing the western boundary for about half of the site.  The surrounding land is significantly higher, characterised by cliff faces in the west, and often steep slopes up to the former railway in the east.  Remnants of the Mill are still visible, and the main access road and bridge are still intact.  The land has been subject to some previous reclamation; however this appears not to have been maintained. Much of the site is now heavily wooded.

The site already has significant ecological interest with the majority of it designated as Biological Heritage Site (BHS).  There are 3 separate BHS's; Stubbins Nature Reserve and Woodland, Hodge Clough and Lumb Wood, and East Lancashire Railway Helmshore to Lumb Hall.  These have been designated for habitat mosaic, woodland and scrub, artificial habitats and grassland.  An area opposite the site on the western side of the River Irwell is also designated as a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Previous Use

The site comprises the site of the former Lumb Mill and the former Clifton, Accrington and Colne branch of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.  The former railway, which was constructed mainly on embankment, was supported by many structures along its length.  The largest and most impressive of these is Lumb Viaduct, which has Grade 2 listed status.

The Lumb Mill area was formerly occupied by Lumb Paper Mill, which ceased operation in the 1970s. 

Proposed Use

The proposed Greenway, which has a north-south alignment, will extend for some 2,300 metres between Iron Gate Lane in the north and Stubbins in the south.  The relatively flat nature of this route means that it is ideally suited to cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders of all capabilities, for all year round use.  It has been identified as a key element of National Cycle Network Route 6 (NCN6).

There are opportunities for strategic and local connections along the route including to the Irwell Sculpture Trail, the East Lancashire Railway and the West Pennine Moors bridleway route currently being developed.  As a consequence, the Greenway has potential to form an important element of the wider network attracting visitors into Pennine Lancashire.

Aerial Photo

View an aerial photo of the site.


An outline design for the Lumb Mill REMADE scheme has been prepared by Consultants Liverpool 2020.  This design was displayed at an exhibition in March 2009 held at Irwell Vale Methodist Church, Bowker Street, Irwell Vale, Ramsbottom, Bury, BL0 0QQ.  The plans and comment form was also available electronically to complete on-line.

The plans included access improvements, new footpaths, seating areas, interpretation and site management.

The designs are available below in pdf format:

For the REMADE Lumb Mill project Mid Pennine Arts will be running a series of artists’ projects, working with local people from the surrounding areas to help shape the look, feel and future use of the greenway and former mill site.  For more information on Mid Pennine Arts please see the website www.midpenninearts.org.uk/

Next Stages

Work is continuing on the detailed desgin for the scheme which will lead to the submission of a planning application and an application for listed building consent in autumn 2010.

© 2014, Lancashire County CouncilPhone: 0300 123 6701 email: enquiries@lancashire.gov.uk