Northampton

Salcey Forest: Plans to reopen tree top walkway revealed

Tree Top Way in Northamptonshire Image copyright Geograph/Kokai
Image caption The Tree Top Way is a raised, wooden platform at Salcey Forest near Northampton

A popular tree level walkway could reopen after the Forestry Commission revealed it was seeking ways to fund the project.

Tree Top Way, a raised wooden platform in Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire, closed in May due to safety concerns.

More than 32,000 people have signed a petition calling for it to be saved.

The Commission, which manages the forest, hoped to preserve the walkway by reconstructing the lower section after getting advice from engineers.

Earlier this year, inspectors found potential structural problems, and local MP Andrea Leadsom questioned whether it had been properly maintained.

"We are now currently considering the best way to fund these changes [to solve potential structural problems]," said a Forestry Commission spokesman.

"We know it is treasured by locals and visitors alike, and that it has become an important part of the community."

Image copyright Geograph/Kokai
Image caption The structure, opened in 2005, was closed in May after a routine inspection found potential problems

The news was welcomed by South Northamptonshire Council.

Its leader Ian McCord said: "We stand ready to give any help or assistance we can.

"If there is a will there is a way. We will do whatever we can to ensure any planning issues can be resolved."

The forest walkway, south of Northampton, rises to 15m (49ft) above the ground, with a crow's nest platform at 20m (66ft).

The walkway opened in 2005 and was estimated to attract about 250,000 visitors a year.

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