Pendle villages stand in path of major landslide - ecological ‘time bomb’ warning

Frank Wren of Barley Fisheries evaluates the damage to the river bank following the recent rainfall. G220211/1a
Frank Wren of Barley Fisheries evaluates the damage to the river bank following the recent rainfall. G220211/1a

BARLEY is on the verge of an “ecological disaster” according to a top local ecologist.

Fear is growing the village may bear the brunt of a major landslide which Dr Ron Freethy has declared it a “time bomb waiting to happen”.

Dr Freethy, from Barley, was asked to give his expert opinion on the state of the shale embankment above the river at Narrowgates.

And he has concluded the village – among other neighbouring areas – are only a gale away from mass landslides, floods and power and electricity failures.

He said: “I know enough to be frightened. This is already at the worst case scenario stage and something needs to be done and fast. If we get any more bad weather – even a strong wind will bring down the trees, and the embankment will collapse and flooding occur.”

With the river cutting into the embankment, land at the site has started to slide, uprooting and pulling down trees into the water below the bridge.

Pendle Council has since been at the site to determine what is to be done. The council’s drainage manager, Peter Sellers, visited Barley to look into the issue, and said: “The trees are on private land and the landowners are responsible for the river and river bank.

“We’ve made an inquiry with the Land Registry Office to find out who owns each section of the land. If there is any delay, then we can consider using some of our emergency fund to remove the fallen trees which are in the water.

“This will prevent them being washed down the river towards the bridge and causing a blockage.

“We are working to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

Don’t miss tomorrow’s Nelson Leader for more on this dramatic story