Burton Marsh Greenway is re-opening today (Wednesday 20 May) after being temporarily closed.

We are delighted to re-open this permissive path (part of National Cycle Route 568) which provides people with green transport links while enjoying views across our RSPB Dee Estuary reserve. Sadly it had to be temporarily closed on 9 May due to a significant rise in anti-social behaviour.

We are very grateful for the patience and support from members of the local community who responsibly use the Greenway. The decision to close part of the path that runs past Burton Point was not taken lightly, but was made following a marked increase in anti-social behaviour and people not adhering to the bye-laws on this section of permissive path in recent weeks, along with a serious incident requiring emergency police assistance on the early May bank holiday, where a member of our staff was subject to verbal abuse and extremely threatening behaviour. The local police were shocked at the extent of the anti-social behaviour witnessed from people using the path and were very concerned at the number of people flouting government guidance on social distancing, so fully supported the temporary closure of the path in the interests of public safety. 

A big thank you goes to Cheshire West and Chester Council, Flintshire County Council, Sustrans and Cheshire Police for your support - working together to re-open the Greenway, to ensure that the route is used in a safe and courteous manner for everyone to enjoy. We have put measures in place so the path can now be re-opened. However, we remind people that RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands is still closed, so Greenway users must stay on the path and follow the bye-laws which include keeping dogs on leads, as well as following current social distancing guidelines. There will be regular checks of the pathway, anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and could result in the Greenway being closed again.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, has been a great support to us and she said: "I'm sure many residents will welcome the news that this picturesque greenway will be re-opened. Many thanks for your patience while this route was temporarily closed. Whether you are dog walking, cycling or enjoying daily exercise along the route, please respect other users of the greenway at all times. Social distancing is essential and no large groups should gather along the route. It was disappointing that a minority of people had been ignoring social distancing rules. We all need to find a way of dealing with shared spaces to play our part in beating coronavirus."

   Image by Paul Jubb

If you are exercising on public paths around the wider RSPB Dee Estuary reserve, as well as abiding by bye-laws and social distancing measures, we urge you to be alert for nature and please be extra careful around it -  especially on beaches (where birds such as terns nest), paths (where plants have emerged, and birds may have nested) and open landscapes (ground nesting birds and other wildlife can easily be disturbed by people and dogs off leads). 

Thank you. 

Anonymous