As we head towards a busy Bank Holiday weekend, landowner United Utilities, alongside Macclesfield’s MP David Rutley, is urging visitors to Macclesfield Forest to respect the land and the local community.
The area continues to be as busy as ever and active consultation with key agencies and forums, including local residents, has been taking place to tackle the issues caused by increasing visitor numbers to the area, particularly over the last year.
Paula Steer from United Utilities said: “While we cannot control the number of people who choose to visit, working with local partners such as local councils, national parks, highways and the police, we are exploring ways to provide additional information ahead of a visit, such as whether car parks are full.
“As we head into the Bank Holiday weekend, we will have electronic messaging signs on two key access roads into the Forest to reinforce safety and Countryside Code messaging, and car park capacity messages. There will be increased staffing presence across this period, linked with council enforcement and police operations to ensure the safety of visitors.
“Our objective is that both visitors and residents enjoy this beautiful location safely and responsibly.”
During the MP’s recent visit to Macclesfield Forest, the company explained how it has also installed additional forest path safety signs and is working with local mountain biking group representatives so that all users of the Forest do so in a safe manner. This follows particular concerns about unsafe mountain bike trails being established without permission.
The water company also set out how it has committed £250k to a five year project with Forestry England to improve woodland and aquatic habitat, alongside partnership work to survey wildlife.
After his visit, David Rutley said, “I was grateful to have the chance to meet United Utilities to follow up on traffic and parking concerns raised by local residents, and to discuss the number of mountain bike trails that have been established without permission. We are fortunate to have such a beautiful and iconic setting so close to Macclesfield. It’s vital that all visitors respect Macclesfield Forest, especially over busy Bank Holiday weekends. I look forward to continuing to work with United Utilities and local stakeholders to establish and then deliver an action plan that will tackle local concerns over the months ahead.”