Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 11th September, 2014 10.00 am

Venue: East Committee Room - Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves 

No. Item


Welcome, Apologies and Introductions


Apologies were received from Pat Featherstone, John Handley, Dale Langham and Ivor Williams.


The Chairman reported the Andy Gildon had resigned from the Forum and that a letter had been sent, thanking him for his support and contributions to the work of the Forum.


Reports from Members


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 June 2014 pdf icon PDF 46 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 June 2014 be agreed as a correct record.


Rural Road Safety Sub Group


Linda Rose reported that the Sub Group’s members had been unable to get together since the last meeting to start putting together a strategy and asked for help from other Forum members with this task.


The Sub Group had a list of ideas on how to highlight rural road safety and these included:

  • developing a relationship with the Cheshire Police Commissioner
  • identify ‘hot spot’ roads
  • promotion for the creation of multi user tracks
  • contact other road safety organisations
  • liaise with other Local Access Forums
  • contact other sports bodies such as cycling groups and rambling groups
  • publicity campaign – join others rather than do own
  • education via driving instruction
  • contacting local Members of Parliament


It was suggested that the Sub Group make a targeted action list to help decide where best to put resources into and that this is brought to a future meeting of the Forum for discussion.



Forum Publicity


Carole Bentley reported that she would be discussing with the Rural Road Safety Group ways that publicity could help highlight the issues raised to a wider audience and make contact with other organsiations with similar concerns.


Access for All Sub Group and More Walks for All pdf icon PDF 31 KB


A report on the work of the Access for All Sub Group had been included in the agenda. 


Genni Butler reported that twelve potential walks had been identified for the new Walks for All leaflet. Six of these walks had so far been surveyed by Forum member.  Landowners would be contacted for their permission for the routes to be included in the leaflet.


Bob Anderson raised the issue of lack of manpower to undertake any projects which may arise from the Sub Group and asked about the powers of the Forum to appoint new members or co-opt members to fill casual vacancies.  Genni Butler explained that the Local Access Forums (England) Regulations 2007 set out the rules on membership for Forums.  It was agreed that a report be brought to the next meeting detailing the process and if possible to co-opt members when vacancies occurred.


Update on Cheshire East Council Restructure affecting Public Rights of Way and Countryside Services

Mike Taylor


Mike Taylor reported that a three month review had taken place into the work of the Public Rights of Way Team. The reviewers had spent time with the Rights of Way Officers looking into what they did and how the service operated.


The outcome of the review was that Public Rights of Way and the Countryside Management Services would remain together and become part of the Council’s Visitor Economy, Culture and Tatton Park service.  The Team would still be based at the Municipal Buildings, Crewe.  Mike explained that it was anticipated that the Team’s work would not just be focused on visitors and tourism but would still include the key role of promoting the health benefits of accessing the countryside.




Natural England Consultation on Dog Walking Advice pdf icon PDF 20 KB

Genni Butler


Natural England and National Resources Wales had been developing advice for dog walkers in England and Wales.  This followed on from the recent refresh of the Countryside Code and was intended to replace the now out of print publication “You and Your Dog in the Countryside”. The code had been drafted by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales under the guidance of a working group made up of key stakeholders from the sector.


A draft version of the advice and a development guide had been circulated to Forum members and comments had been sought on the draft advice leaflet. 


Genni Butler reported that she had received comments from a number of Forum members.  These included comments on disposal of bags of dog waste, consideration of other animals such as horses and deer, disturbance of wildlife including breeding birds, and a suggestion that the leaflet should have separate sections on taking stock of farming animals, people and wildlife. It was requested that any further comments to be sent to Genni as soon as possible so that a response can be sent to Natural England before the deadline of 30 September 2014.




Update on Brereton Bridleway No. 31 River Erosion Issue

Mike Taylor


Mike Taylor updated the Forum on progress with Brereton Bridleway No.31 and reported that the legal department were considering the options to move the line of the bridleway.


Rights of Way Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Genni Butler


Genni Butler reported on the progress with the current projects in the Cheshire East Rights of Way Improvement Plan.  These included:


  • Dane Meadow, Holmes Chapel
  • The Carrs, Wilmslow
  • Crewe Footpaths No.3 and 36 – Upgrade to Cycle Track status
  • Cranage to Holmes Chapel off-road link
  • High Legh – off road link to school
  • Congleton Bridleway No.1


New Matters Arising



There were no new matters arising from the Forum Members.


Steve Thomas reported on the work of Cheshire West and Chester Local Access Forum and stated that the Forum was focusing on recruiting new members at present and had drawn up a list of groups to contact to seek new members.  The Forum was hoping to achieve a balance of landowners and users in its membership.


Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 4 December 2014 at 10.00 am in the Tatton Room at Macclesfield Old Town Hall, Macclesfield, SK10 1EA


The next meeting will be on Thursday 4 December 2014 in Macclesfield.