Northamptonshire South MP calls for popular tree-top walk to re-open
The MP for Northamptonshire South has now intervened in an ongoing battle to save Salcey Forest's Tree Top Way - after it was fenced off following an inspection by the Forestry Commission last month.
Sources said they have spotted rotten timbers along the structure and inspectors say they do not know how long the walk will be shut for. Some residents fear the walk will be torn down.
Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, has joined the campaign to save the walk, which has gathered over 32,00 signatures on an online petition, from permanent closure.
She said: “I have fond memories of visits to Salcey Forest to explore the canopy by climbing up the iconic Tree Top Way. Opening in 2005, this beautiful walkway – sourced from local Northamptonshire green oak and crafted by a skilled local workforce – now attracts around 250,000 visitors a year to this ancient woodland.
“As the former Environment Secretary, I am a huge champion of encouraging everyone to come out and enjoy their natural surroundings, and we have some of the most beautiful woodland you’ll find anywhere in the country on our doorstep here in Northamptonshire."
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 Â£750,000 to build.
She added: “I have written to the chief executive of FEE, Simon Hodgson, asking him to do all that he can to ensure the Tree Top Way reopens as soon as possible.
"It is an important Northants tourist attraction that brings considerable numbers of visitors to our area, pumping money into our local economy, and it would be a considerable shame were it to remain closed.
“Given the increased parking charges that have been levied at the site over the years, I think it unfair to now consider a permanent closure, depriving future generations.
"I am committed to doing all that I can to support this important campaign that has been started by one of my constituents, and I hope that we can convince Simon and FEE that this wonderful community asset is worth saving.”
The Forestry Commission confirmed that The Tree Top Way at Salcey Forest had to bey closed following a safety inspection that showed it needed to review a number of maintenance options, and it is not known how long the walk will be closed for.