National charity joins efforts to make reservoir visitor attraction

THE Friends of Walkerwood have enlisted the help of a national charity in their drive to make the Millbrook reservoir a visitor attraction.

Friends of Walkerwood with Groundwork officials and MP Jonathan Reynolds

Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, joined the Friends who met with officials from Groundwork at Walkerwood to discuss the proposal.

The charity, which works in the most disadvantaged part of the UK to create better places to live and work in a greener way, is to conduct a survey of Walkerwood.

A circular footpath already exists but is in a poor condition and requires considerable upgrading.

Mr Reynolds described the meeting as “significant” and a further step forward with the proposal.

He said: “It was a positive meeting and Groundwork are keen and enthusiastic to become involved.

“We want to see if we can get a group of organisations to sponsor a survey to get things moving.

“There is already a footpath but it is not of a standard and needs considerable work doing to it.”

The Friends of Walkerwood have already received the backing of the two major stakeholders, United Utilities and Enville Estates.

Neil Merriman, a Labour party activist who came up with the vision in 2015, believes it would be a massive boost to the local economy.

He said: “The reservoir is within a half-hour walk of Stalybridge town centre and our matra is walk to Walkerwood.

“We are looking to open the area for walkers and don’t want to bring in more cars.

“United Utilities and Enville Estates don’t want cars as it is a fire road. We agree as we saw how it needs to be kept clear during last year’s moorland blazes.

“By getting more people to use the green belt in will make it easier to save from future development and easier to protect from things like fly-tipping.

“Funds can be accessed to make it happen but until we have the results of the survey we cannot move things forward.”

It was during a break during the 2015 General Election campaign that Neil took Mr Reynolds to Walkerwood to sell his vision.

But it was only last year that they went public with their plans having gained the backing from United Utilities and Enville Estates.

2 Replies to “National charity joins efforts to make reservoir visitor attraction”

  1. “Our mantra is to walk to walkerwood”, great but how many walkers are also going to share this idea? Have you seen the Dovestone carpark on a nice day? People might like to go for a walk, but they won’t want to walk for half an hour from the town centre. If access and parking is not this first thing on the agenda, then there is no point putting the path there at all. Why not spend the money on the canal tow path, or turn the old train line into a proper cycle route? There’s plenty of disused land around the canal that would be perfect for parking without causing problems to residents near the fire road and surroundings.

  2. I agree totally with Natalie. People are already parking on Brushes Rd and Swineshaw Rd, leaving their cars and walking from there to Walkerwood Reservoir. Expecting people to walk from where they live just won’t happen. Dovestone is a place to avoid like the plague on a nice day, and is busy on a bad day. It’s not a matter of people walking it’s a matter of people driving, which they will inevitably do. The infrastructure is not there, the path they want to open is overgrown and almost impassible in prolonged wet weather. It was cleared years ago with raised walk ways installed. It was then left to become overgrown and the walk ways rot. Why not spend money on a less hairbrained idea’s like, cleaning up Stalybridge town centre.

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