A COMMUNITY has banded together to try and buy a 'greatly loved' woodland.

Windmill Wood, also known as Toft Wood, was put up for auction last week by Fisher German, prompting concern over what the future has in store for the land.

Now, neighbours and residents from around Knutsford have started raising money to try and buy it for themselves.

Adam Keppel-Green, Knutsford Town Council clerk and organiser of Save Windmill Wood, said: “Windmill Wood is a greatly loved area which has been enjoyed by the local community for decades.

“Strictly, there are only two designated footpaths through the site and with the land being sold there is the risk that public access to the rest of the woodland could, rightfully, be curtailed.

“So, rather than sit at the side and wait to see what might happen, many feel it’s an opportunity to take ownership of the woodland as a community.

“Buying the woodland as a community means we would know it is perpetually saved and give people the unquestionable right to enjoy the woodland as a green space, for den building, dog walking, bird watching and everything in between.

“It would also mean we don't have to worry about potential battles over the right to use the space."

READ MORE: 'Wildlife haven' Windmill Wood to go under the hammer

Knutsford Guardian: Windmill Wood, also known as Toft WoodWindmill Wood, also known as Toft Wood (Image: Fisher German)

Windmill Wood was first established by the Toft Estate in the mid-19th century and has been owned and looked after by one family for nearly 40 years.

The 35.61 acre plot is around 1.6 miles from the centre of Knutsford and has a guide price of £232,000.

At the time of writing, Save Windmill Wood’s Crowdfunder has received £7,385 in donations, with 58 people having pledged money to the cause.

On what they hope to do, Mr Keppel-Green said: “If successful in raising the funds - which is no mean feat - and in buying the land, we would set up a charity to own the woodland.

"From there we'll develop a proper woodland management plan and work to raise funds and secure grants to undertake maintenance and make improvements both to the ecology of the site and for users.

“It's important to stress that in order for us to raise the funds we need to buy the woodland we need people to be as generous as they are able to and for those in the area who have the means, to make significant contributions to the fund - as we are already beginning to see with some incredible donations.

“We need people to spread the word to friends and family and help us secure as many contributions as possible. If we aren't successful, people get all their money back, if we are successful, they've enabled us to do something amazing as a community."

The online auction is due to end at midday on Wednesday, August 23.

Knutsford Guardian: Windmill Wood has been owned by the same family for the past 40 years Windmill Wood has been owned by the same family for the past 40 years (Image: Fisher German)