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Shaw Brook as it reaches the Paper Mill Lodge in May 2002

Shaw Brook runs over Cowhill, one way runs down to the reservoir, the other way runs East towards the River Hyndburn.

The brook now goes under the railway line, crosses the golf club and under the canal before making its way across green fields to the Paper Mill lodge at the East side of the town.

The tunnel which runs under the canal is known locally as DEVILS TUNNEL. The tunnel is approximately 30 yards long and comes up on the Western side of the canal behind Petre Crescent.

Devils Tunnel May 2002

The tunnel entrance drops down in a culvert, and is heavily covered by shrubs.

Many children have run through the tunnel over the years, splashing through the brook to get to the other side.

The tunnel is about four feet in diameter (120 cm), so its only fit for children's dares!!

Culvert leaving the canal in August 2001.

On Thursday 30 October 1997, A RISHTON dairy farmer was jailed for two months for failing to meet hygiene standards and polluting a nearby stream. He put his wife in charge of the business.

John Barker, 42, of Moorside Farm, Churchill Avenue, was imprisoned for breaking food safety regulations, failing to comply with an improvement notice on a milk bottle-testing machine and polluting Shaw Brook with gas oil in February 1997.

Hyndburn magistrates sentenced him to two months for each of the offences, to run concurrently. Barker was convicted of four offences, including failure to keep areas of the farm clean, failure to comply with an improvement notice and the storage of refuse which attracted vermin.

Hyndburn's environmental health officers continued to monitor the dairy, which is now operating under father-of-four Barker's wife Julie.

The court heard how Barker had supplied a bottle of milk for sale in Blackburn which contained a one-inch square fragment of glass. Jane Morgan, prosecuting, told the court the gas oil pollution at the Paper Mill Lodge was from a faulty storage tank on Barker's farm.

A Hyndburn Council spokesman said "It was an indication of the seriousness of the offences that the magistrate decided a jail sentence was the only option." Duncan Nightingale, defending, said: "Barker had lost his business, his house and had debts of 100,000. He didn't believe he was a man who had wilfully gone out to cause injuries or wilfully caused the tank to leak."

It was the first time a custodial sentence had been imposed for a water pollution offence under the Water Resources Act 1991.

References

Lancashire Evening Telegraph 30th October 1997.