ONE of the most popular footpaths in Goostrey through the Bongs has been closed to walkers because a bridge was found near to collapse.

Cheshire East Council ordered the closure after concern was reported about the condition of the bridge near the start of the path between Blackden Lane and Mill Lane.

The footpath winding its way through the ancient woodland will be shut for up to 21 days or until the bridge has been repaired and is safe to cross.

Knutsford Guardian:

The bridge shows evidence of collapsing boards

A council notice at the entrance to the Bongs said the closure was necessary to prevent the likelihood of ‘danger to the public due to a collapsing bridge’.

The Bongs is a medieval Cheshire dialect name meaning a wooded area by a riverbank, from the French banc, and was well established when the Norman occupiers visited the area for the Domesday survey.

Now it is most popular with ramblers visiting the village as well as residents walking dogs or taking a stroll, and it is the first time it has been closed in living memory.

Knutsford Guardian:

The notice posted by the council at the Blackden Lane end of the footpath

Villager Kathy Garratt, who regularly walks her dog in the Bongs, drew attention last week to the bridge's condition.

“When I walked through the Bongs the bridge from the Blackden Lane end was all broken and dilapidated,” she said.

“It could cause someone to fall especially at dusk when it is getting dark.”