Burnham to visit Dovestones
Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 19 August 2019
THE voice of Andy Burnham, The Mayor of Greater Manchester, could help preserve a unique Saddleworth beauty spot for future generations.
This is the hope of the organiser of a mini summit this week when the Mayor will see first hand the problems facing agencies and countryside lovers of Dovestones Reservoir.
Doctor Andrew Taylor is chair of the influential Greenfield and Grasscroft Community Association and a long time member of Oldham Mountain Rescue Team.
And problems at the Greenfield site have been highlighted in a sustained campaign asking for more “boots on the ground” in a bid to combat fires, traffic management, parking problems, anti-social behaviour, marshalling and protecting its value to the green belt.
MP Debbie Abrahams, Sean Fielding, leader of Oldham Council, officials from GMFRS, GMP, UU, RSPB, Peak District National Park, NFU, farmers, the Dovestones marshals, locals, volunteer countryside marshals will be among those attending the high level meeting.
And Dr Taylor says he hopes the meeting is a turning point for the Dovestone and Chew valley area.
‘We hope to show the Mayor the topography of the unique site that both OMBC and GMCA treasure as “the local countryside”, advertising its visual impact — without supporting it.
“We hope to show him firsthand the impact of burning moorland, massively inadequate transport access, irresponsible and aggressive behaviour and threats to its survival by visitor abuse or by planning to the visual spectacle of the area.
“And we sincerely hope his visit will add support to the people on the ground, whether paid or voluntary, emergency or conservation, who desperately need support in what they are doing already. “
Dr Taylor declared:”We hope it will raise awareness at all levels in the responsible organisations to generate the correct financial support, and to ensure its continuance into the future.
“In turn, the raised profile of the Mayor’s visit can ensure cooperation between organisations, council’s and the ‘feet on the ground’ requests may even be means of developing an overarching planning and management group, with a powerful voice. “
He added:”The green belt should be seen as a legacy, with support for its local protectors and not as a place for misbehaviour or a location profit-based planning mismanagement.
“Once lost it cannot be regained. Andy Burnham’s voice could help preserve it for future generations.”
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