'There are so few places like it': Petition to save tree top walk near Northampton tops 30,000 signatures

A Northampton woman who launched a petition to "save Salcey Forest Tree Top Way" has promised she will not let the public's support for the popular walk be swept under the rug.

Monday, 21st May 2018, 6:41 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:40 am
Sign the petition to save Salcey Forest Treetop Walk at Change.org.

Visitors to Salcey Forest this month will have found the entrance to the Tree Top Way fenced off after inspectors found "unexpected signs of rot" to the timbers.

Local resident Emma Mooney feared this would lead to attraction shutting for good and started a petition to gather support for vital repairs to the structure.

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The popular walk was fenced off by inspectors following safety fears.

Emma, from East Hunsbury, said: "I think people's fear is that it won't reopen. There are few places like it not just in Northamptonshire but in the UK."

The Tree Top Way is a quarter-mile route that rises to 20 metres above the forest floor, and at its height offers a view above the trees. It opened in 2005 and reportedly cost £750,000 to build.

Emma said: "If they were given that much to build it and then in less than 13 years have to close it then I don't think they have done enough to maintain it.

"The Tree Top Way is such a unique opportunity to look at the Northamptonshire landscape. And it's all-inclusive. You can use it whether you've got a pushchair, or a wheelchair, or whether you're fit or physically challenged. People have got engaged there. It's very special.

"I only expected to get a few hundred signatures. When I woke up the next day we had over 6,000 names."

It comes after two other attractions in Salcey Forest - the Gruffalo Trail and the Tree Ninja adventure course - were closed in as many years.

A Forestry Commission spokesperson said: “Amongst other things, some of the wooden supports are showing unexpected signs of rot and there are different options to address our concerns. We are taking the time to consider them carefully.

“We have not taken any decision or made any plans for the Tree Top Way and there are still many other things to do to enjoy Salcey Forest."