CONCERNED residents say they are ‘on tenderhooks’ following the news that a much-loved woodland area in Knutsford is up for sale.

Windmill Wood, also known as Toft Wood, will go on sale by auction at Cottons Hotel on July 8.

The 34 acre wood, on Chelford Road, will be sold as a whole or as five lots, with a guide price ranging from £40,000 to £100,000 per lot.

Fisher German, who have been instructed to sell the privately-owned land, say they have already received a huge amount of interest in the site but residents are concerned the integrity of the woodland could be compromised by the sale.

Charlotte Greenstein, a member of the South Knutsford Residents Group, said: “We are all, of course, devastated at the possibility of losing Windmill Wood to developers.

“Generations of the town's children have been inspired by nature and enjoyed this wood. One of the many great aspects of living in Knutsford is the ready availability of woodland and outdoor trails.

“We are all on tenterhooks and hope that the community can pull together to protect this valuable resource.”

Ecology and Planning Officer at Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Rachel Giles, told the Guardian that the woodland, as a Local Wildlife Site, has some protection within the planning system.

“Local Wildlife Sites are a non-statutory designation and are recognised in the Local Plan,” she said.

“This generally means that planning permission would not be granted unless there is deemed to be an overriding need for development to go ahead.”

Offers and enquiries about the sale should be directed to Fisher German’s Tatton Street office.