Macclesfield Forest Trails Could Be Closed For Good If You Ignore This!

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Unless you have been living under a rock, in a cave, at the bottom of the ocean you will already be well aware that the recent weather has been extremely pants!

Shock cold fronts, snow, gale force winds and storms have all reeked havoc on our daily lives, but worse than simple road closures, this extreme weather is also shutting down local trails.

After the most recent storm which saw ‘thousands’ of trees uprooted and blown down, United Utilities have made the difficult decision to close Macclesfield Forest to the public until further notice while they asses the situation and make repairs.

A post shared by Lewis Evans (@big_l_mcfc) on

So while it’s sad that a classic riding area like Macclesfield Forest has been shut we can sleep easy knowing that it will reopen again once trails are repaired and dangerous trees are removed… can’t we?

Hopefully yes, but United Utilities are concerned that certain members of the public, including mountain bikers and other cyclists, aren’t taking their advice and are ignoring notices not to use the forest.

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This closure not only protects the trails that we all love but also protects anyone who might find themselves in the path of a  falling branch (a.k.a a widowmaker) or even a tree that chooses the moment you’re riding beneath it to say “hello” to the earth.

United Utilities has reached out to local cycling clubs in an effort to spread the closure details, but it appears that their pleas are falling on deaf ears and now a permanent trail closure could be on the cards.

So to sum up;

If you see a notice stating that a trail is closed don’t be a “Richard” and ignore it or you could ruin it for everyone.

Don’t be that dick who spoils it for everyone. #keepoffcannings #letthetrailsheals

A post shared by Jason Budd (@rideholme) on

In addition to the closure at Macclesfield Forest, the trails at Lady Cannings near Sheffield have also been closed for repair too.

Andi is a gadget guru and mountain biker who has lived and ridden bikes in China and Spain before settling down in the Peak District to become Singletrack's social media expert. He is definitely more big travel fun than XC sufferer but his bike collection does include some rare hardtails - He's a collector and curator as well as a rider. Theory and practice in perfect balance with his inner chi, or something. As well as living life based on what he last read in a fortune cookie Andi likes nothing better than riding big travel bikes.

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Comments (17)

    Could you maybe be a little more patronising? I suspect the majority of your readers are over the age of six and can absorb information that’s not presented like something from an infants school assembly.


    Jon (aged 12 and a quarter)

    Jon, some people struggle with “Closed To The Public”. Also, what are you doing here? Our target demographic is 18-25…

    Joking aside, do you not have anyone subbing on the site? I know it’s old school, but how about an introduction that tells you what the story’s about instead of some waffle about the weather being ‘extremely pants’?

    Your third paragraph down should actually be your introduction. The first two are just waffle. If I were a search engine, I’d be confused. Just saying.

    It’s worth mentioning a lot of the tracks being used in the forest are completely unofficial and over ridden. The title photo while very nice is on what looks to be on an unofficial track in a very sensitive area of the forest.

    Sorry, I’ll butt out now. It’s kind of none of my business, except that I am one of your readers.

    “The title photo while very nice is on what looks to be on an unofficial track in a very sensitive area of the forest.” Soon to be on a much publicised video near you

    …….accompanied by a few ‘yeah boi’s’ & the odd ‘yew’ !

    Why is the formatting of the article all to p*sh, with Central alignement. Also there is stuff like this ‘subscribe & go AD free’ slapped in the middle of the story in the same font and size, makes it harder and more confusing to read than it need be.

    Jon, maybe you can spread the word and maybe the select few who ignore the ”closed to the public” signs might listen..

    It is clearly signed, gates are locked and they know its closed , yet ignore this and every day/ evening people ride the trails anyway.

    We only appreciate something once its taken away, so lets keep it if we can.

    I suppose it depends on whether there’s a genuine issue with people continuing to ride, or whether this is a foot and mouth type load of bollocks.
    I rode plenty of closed trails during that fiasco, because there was no good reason not to.

    I might not help myself to that last slice of pie if that closes the forest 🙁

    To Bedmaker, the problem is that someone has to decide on the “rules” whether we like it or not, that’s the way society works and our collective responsibility is observe those. How do you know you didn’t make a difference during F&M, lots of irresponsible behaviour didn’t make a difference, but some of it clearly did? United Utilities are utimately just protecting themselves as they don’t want the hassle of a tree falling on someone but as discussed on here many times you just give ALL mountain bikers a bad name if you deliberately flout said rules. Do you also drive past primary schools at more than 30 mph because you’ve never run over a child as well?

    Lets not be negative
    stop the idiots visiting when they shouldn’t , respect the closure is for a good reason. let the dust settle

    i spoke to one of the Rangers last night. sounds like some of the bikers have got everyone a bad name due to idiots riding anywhere they want, loads of reports of them whizzing past walkers and horses, no respect, riding trails that dont exist, foot paths, even making a track(not the down hill one).

    There is 12 hectares of trees down over the whole forest. 100’s of pine trees with shallow roots ready to fall still. The forest is a non profit part of united utilities, so only has a small budget. There are only 2 maybe 3 official ”footpaths” the rest are concession paths that bikers and horse riders use, that UU have built for us to use.

    The priority is safety, and one of the Rangers said some parts are very dangerous, They are opening the footpaths first as they have next to no maintenance / hassle(one part open this week). The next is the bridleway, mtb paths. They know mtb bikers are using them against their wishes. The horses riders have respected the closures. They also know, people (walkers and mtb riders) are ripping down the closure signs too, and unaware visitors are going in unaware of all the dangers.

    lets let the guys do their work so we can again enjoy it, ill keep everyone upto date as i hear

    I feel conned; I could have completely ignored this as I don’t even know where it is!

    Keeper of the Peak spoke to United Utilities about this. Here you go:

    keeper of the peak is now out of date, so here is an update

    tracks hanging gate side or near resevoir have started to open , but not to the left of the forest ie…above leather smith or below charity lane. forest chapel

    bikers are still jumping the gates, ignoring the sign and annoying UU and the police (they are now noteing number plates of vans and cars with racks)

    12000 trees need removing… foootpaths started opening too.. but again not on left side

    just an update.
    forest below Charity lane still shut. although looks safe the are is completely closed that side of the forest and out of bounds. poss due to wildlife ruling cant cut trees down after 31 march and baby deer running around and laid eggs ready to hatch,

    Sadly there are still the stupid few who go in their spoiling it for others. they just jump the gate and ignore the signs. . Amazing how some riders you speak too think they have a right to ride in their, even though they dont own the land…. amazing how the few give us all a bad name and spoil it for others.


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