ePetition details

Save Cannock Chase AONB

To prevent the fencing off of significant areas of Cannock Chase and to prevent the grazing of cattle on public areas of Cannock Chase including those at Brindley Heath, Moor’s Gorse, Sherbrook Valley and beyond. To undertake a full and proper public consultation, and to disclose and share all information about the decision making process in relation to the proposals .

Cannock Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is used freely by thousands of visitors each and every year. Visitors are not only from the local area but nationally and internationally. Users include families with children, ramblers and walking groups, cyclists, runners, dog walkers and horse riders, who not only enjoy the benefits of the Chase but support local businesses and the local economy.

Cannock Chase is particularly unique in the area due to the beautiful open landscape that is safely accessible by all, without restriction. All users have the benefit of the large area which allows them the freedom to safely enjoy their activity without encroaching on others.

Any proposal to alter and restrict this access will have a significant and detrimental effect on the local community, residents, visitors and local economy.

Allowing the free roaming of cattle within areas that will be used by families, children, horse riders, dogs and cyclists will put the safety of all at risk. Cattle are large and powerful animals who can take to flight easily and without warning.

The proposals to fence off large areas of Cannock Chase has been undertaken without any proper, open and public consultation and without consideration of the detrimental impact upon the area and the risks to public safety.

We request a full open and public consultation and the disclosure of all consultation meeting minutes, decision making reports, cost schedules, wildlife and natural beauty impact studies, local business impact studies and public safety impact studies.

Started by: Rachael Stokes

This ePetition ran from 21/03/2019 to 22/08/2019 and has now finished.

266 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

Cannock Chase Country Park includes some of the most highly protected wildlife habitats in the country which are of international significance. The County Council has a legal obligation to bring the habitats into good condition for wildlife. In 2016 we started consulting with interest groups, businesses and the public to review our management of the habitats and consider what changes might be needed going forward to meet legal requirements while still ensuring public access and enjoyment of the site. Heathland experts have advised us that conservation grazing, in combination with other techniques such as cutting / mowing, controlled burning of heather, spraying bracken etc, is needed to improve the structure and diversity of the heathland vegetation, creating the right conditions for rare plants and animals that depend on places like Cannock Chase for their survival. Low intensity grazing is a natural and sustainable form of management, already used in Staffordshire and other parts of the country, and without it we are unlikely to be able to meet the legal requirements for the site.

We have consulted widely over the last three years on how grazing could be reintroduced to the site, taking the needs of other site users into account. Information about this process is publicly available on our website. A grazing pilot has been agreed and will commence next spring with about six cattle in a small, specific area of the site. Further grazing on the site has not yet been decided and will be considered following implementation of the pilot scheme. This would involve more discussions with local residents, businesses and user groups and then a formal public consultation. The decision on the scheme would be made by an independent body.