Vandalised walkway to reopen thanks to pay back teams

Photo Neil Cross
Cockshott Wood has been cordoned off from the public on Pear Tree Cres. Walton-le-Dale
Photo Neil Cross Cockshott Wood has been cordoned off from the public on Pear Tree Cres. Walton-le-Dale
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What’s happening?

Cockshott Wood in Walton-le-Dale has been closed off to the public for around two years, since vandals wrecked a walkway by the stream.

Now South Ribble Council wants to reopen the walkways andis using Community Payback teams to create stone a raised stone footpath to replace the burnt one.

Why is it happening?

In June 2015, firefighters were called to a four-metre-long blaze on a boardwalk, which ran through the wood from Pear Tree Crescent to Duddle Lane.

The boardwalk, which was installed the previous October as part of a £35,000 council-funded renovation, was made from recycled plastic, making the material very difficult to light.

Therefore experts believe an accelerant was used to start the fire.

At the time, it was suggested the damage would cost £1,000 to repair, but this was for a like-for-like replacement.

What does the council say?

Councillor Graham Walton, South Ribble Borough Council cabinet member for regeneration and leisure, said: “Around three years ago, we rebuilt the footpaths through the wood and this included a raised walkway down by the stream.

“Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the raised walkway around 18 months ago.

“We have now taken the decision to reopen the walkway and are working with the Community Payback scheme to create a raised stone footpath in place of the burnt one.”

When will it happen?

Because Community Payback teams are being used for the work - offenders ordered to undertake community service - the council cannot give a clear time frame for the work’s completion.

Coun Walton said: “The work will be finished in the near future and will make the wood an even more attractive place to visit.”