Cragg Quarry also under threat

The Lee and Cragg Quarry trail centres are in danger of being shut down after the service that maintains them is due to be axed by Lancashire County Council.

Countryside Services is one of 52 non-statutory services being cut by the council by 2018 and will leave the quarries with no one to maintain and run the trail centre.

Lee Quarry opened in 2008 as a 4.5km red loop, since then it has grown to include the neighbouring Cragg Quarry (making a 17km xc loop) and a number of pump tracks and skills areas.

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The Rossendale Free Press reports that Marcus Johnstone, County Council cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “Some of the options for our countryside sites may include transferring ownership to trusts or charities.

“As Lee Quarry and Cragg Quarry have such close connections to the mountain biking industry we’re hopeful that a solution may be found to keep operating them at no cost to the county council.”

Lancashire County Council has said it wants to keep the quarries open and is hoping another group will volunteer to take over. Rossendale Borough Council is one group that is looking at taking on the running of the quarry.

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Council leader Alyson Barnes said: “We are currently talking to the county council about the future of the quarries and how they work. I just couldn’t see us sanctioning the closure of the quarries. It’s too good too lose. We have not come this far to see it disappear overnight.”

Local riding groups are joining together for a ‘Big Day Out’ event at Lee Quarry on February 28 to raise awareness of its importance to riders.