HORSE-riding enthusiasts are being urged to back a campaign to restrict more wind turbines which they claim would overshadow a nationally-renowned trail.
Campaigners insist that the Mary Towneley Loop, created in 1996 with a £1.8million Sport England grant, would be significantly compromised by no fewer than three separate schemes between Rossendale, Burnley and Calderdale.
The doubling in size of Scout Moor wind farm by Peel Energy, separate plans for 17 turbines on Rooley Moor, between Waterfoot and Rochdale, by Coronation Power and four more just south of Gorple Reservoir, between Burnley and Todmorden, by Kelda Group have raised ongoing concerns.
And now the owner of a tourism business is urging supporters to sign Rossendale MP Jake Berry’s ‘Not On Our Hills’ petition, calling for a moratorium on the Pennine wind farms.
Chris Thomas, of Peers Clough Farm in Water, who had been looking to offer weekend breaks based around the trail, said: “The building and maintaining of huge wind farms brings some short term prosperity to the area, but also massive disruption to residents and local business.
“Rossendale is trying desperately to promote tourism through the beauty and accessibility of its landscape. My contribution to this would include packaged weekend breaks with heritage rides, and an opportunity to ride fell ponies on our fells.”
Lady Mary Towneley was instrumental in the Pennine Bridleway being formed and the loop, which skirts around Worsthorne and Cliviger before heading through the Rossendale Valley, east to Calderdale then north around Hebden Bridge, is named in her honour.
Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association has also voiced concerns regarding the wind farms and effects on the trail.
Joan Snowdon, association spokesman, said: “The turbines being so close to the bridleway creates a visual and noise problem for the horses being ridden along the Mary Towneley Loop.
“Although the proposal implies turbines would not be noisy, quiet sounds are just as disturbing as loud ones to horses.”