FAMILIES are being urged to attend a meeting which will help shape the future of Knutsford Heath for generations to come.

Knutsford Freeholders Association is opening its annual meeting to the public at the Little Theatre in Queen Street, on Tuesday, November 20, at 8pm.

Most of The Heath, a nature reserve, is owned by the Tatton Estate, but a wooded section is currently being leased by Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

The Trust started a major project earlier in the year to return the area to traditional heathland which will attract its own wildlife.

Nick Johnson, chairman of Knutsford Freeholders Association, said: “We are looking to gain new members from people who want to have a voice and who are interested in protecting The Heath for future generations by working with those with a vested interest to improve this facility.

“It goes without saying that such a large area of open space located in the middle of the town needs to be protected by people who want to see it retained as an amenity for all those who live and visit Knutsford.”

A Cheshire Wildlife Trust spokesman said: “We spent a large part of last winter removing trees from the nature reserve on The Heath, to help the traditional heathland habitats recover.

“Our aim is to reinstate The Heath for what it was named for – a rich mix of wonderful heather, wildflowers and associated wildlife such as butterflies and reptiles.

“We hope local people will continue to enjoy and explore the nature reserve, while understanding the need to protect these fragile areas for the future.”

Knutsford Freeholders Association was involved in a major legal battle in 1974 over who were the owners of The Heath, and lost.

The group then almost disappeared, but was rejuvenated in the 1990s, with its focus being the protection of The Heath’s integrity and character.