018 Macclesfield Forest

Long before the days of waterboards and reservoirs, deer roamed the medieval hunting ground of Macclesfield Forest, and wolves too were to be seen among the trees that stretched northwards as far as Marple. Gradually the forest was cleared, and farming took over the land, until by the middle of the seventeenth century the last fragment of the wilderness had gone. Then in 1850, to provide the growing silk town of Macclesfield with drinking water, the first reservoir was built. Visitors were discouraged and soon a grey monotonous swathe of conifers covered the hillside. In recent years, oak, ash and sycamore have been introduced to create a more natural forest, a home for foxes and badgers, and if you are lucky you may even glimpse one of the descendants of the original Red deer, but as yet we have still to see a wolf!

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LOCATION: Three miles south-east of Macclesfield
START: Trentabank pay & display car park, toilets
Grid ref: SJ961711 Postcode: SK110NS
DISTANCE: 4.5 miles
GRADE: Moderate
TIME: 2.5 hours
MAP: Outdoor Leisure - White Peak Landranger 118
REFRESHMENTS: Pack a flask
EN ROUTE: St Stephen Chapel

This walk was originally published by
The Manchester Evening News

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