Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 28th November, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: The Silk Room - Town Hall, Macclesfield SK10 1EA. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


Apologies were received from June Buckley, Terry Dykes and Laureen Roberts.


Climate Change and the Visitor Economy pdf icon PDF 51 KB

John Handley

Additional documents:


John Handley gave a presentation to the Forum on Climate Change and the Visitor Economy. 


The presentation provided details of how the global surface temperature was changing, the increasing CO2 emissions trends and the effects of these on local climate, rainfall, the length of the growing season and flora and fauna.  The importance of the visitor economy to Cheshire East was highlighted and how this would be affected with climate change contributing to an increase in moorland fires, low flowing rivers affecting fish and the erosion of public rights of way by extreme heavy rain and flooding.


A draft position paper on Climate Change and the Visitor Economy had been circulated. It was suggested that the Forum could work with the Visitor Economy Forum to produce a joint Position Statement on Climate Change.

Forum members were asked for forward any comments, along with any ideas on how the carbon footprint of visitors to Cheshire East could be reduced directly to John.  A final version for the Forum’s approval would be brought to the March meeting.





Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 19 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 63 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.


Communications Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Sharon Angus-Crawshaw


The Communications Sub Group had met to consider the Forum’s Communication Strategy and as a result a number of revisions were being proposed.


The Forum discussed the proposed revisions, which were set out in the circulated report.


Of the two suggested definitions for the Forum, Members felt that the shorter suggested one was more preferable but any definition needed to ensure that it covered the functions set out in legislation for Access Forums. Any changes would need to be reflected in the Forum’s terms of reference.


Consideration was given to using Facebook and other forms of social media such as Twitter and Instagram.  A social media policy, setting out the rules for use, would need to be developed and form part of the Communications Strategy. 


It was agreed that the revised Communications Strategy would be shared with Forum members and brought to the next meeting for approval.


Project 2026 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Sharon Angus-Crawshaw


Sharon Angus-Crawshaw briefed the Forum on the British Horse Society’s (BHS) Project 2026.


The BHS had secured a £150k grant from Sports England through British Equestrian Federation and had matched this with £150k from their own funding.  There were offering £100 towards expenses for every eligible DMMO submitted  since 1 January 2018 provided that it met their criteria.    The BHS planned to establish a Project 2026 in every county in England and Wales subject to demand.


To date in Cheshire East 35 potential paths had been identified with 11 DMMO applications made claiming higher user rights for footpaths.


It was noted that the 2026 date had not yet been confirmed as the deadline as the legislation in the Deregulation Act 2015 had not yet been enacted.  The deadline would only apply for applications based on historical evidence.


Genni Butler reported that the cost to the Council to investigate DMMO applications was approximately £5,000, with the costs increasing if there was an objection and it went to Public Inquiry.  In addition, any public right of way added to the Definitive Map and Statement would then incur maintenance costs.



Reports from Members


North West LAF Chairs' Meeting

Sharon Angus-Crawshaw


Sharon Angus-Crawshaw reported on the issues discussed at the last meeting of the North West Regional LAF Chairs.  The main topics were:

·       Fire Severity Index

·       closure of footpath level crossings

·       access to moorland

·       support provided by Natural England and local authorities to Access Forums

·       2026 cut off date for unrecorded rights of way

·       PhD research by University of Lancaster into how successful local access forums were.



Rights of Way Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Genni Butler


Genni Butler reported on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan.


An update on projects being delivered under the Improvement Plan was provided and included updates on:

·       Gritstone Trail – work had now been completed

·       Advice and Accessibility – benefit to the public footpath network from the work by Sandbach Footpaths Group replacing stiles with gates project

·       Planning – S106 money used to construct a linking path to new housing development in Winterley and s106 contribution to fund work by the Canal and River Trust to deliver towpath improvements in Disley.



Any Other Business


Agenda Items

It was asked if each item on the agenda could be allocated a time length so that members had an idea how long meetings would last.  The Chairman agreed to discuss this with Genni Butler.


Proposed Dates of Next Meetings

Dates to be confirmed:


10.00 am Thursday 19 March 2020 – Crewe

10.00 am Thursday 18 June 2020 – Macclesfield

10.00 am Thursday 17 September 2020 – Crewe

10.00 am Thursday 26 November 2020 - Macclesfield


The date of meetings in 2020 were agreed as follows:


Thursday 19 March 2020 – Crewe

Thursday 18 June 2020 – Macclesfield

Thursday 17 September 2020 – Crewe

Thursday 26 November 2020 - Macclesfield