An award-winning tree top walkway in Milton Keynes has been shut after its timbers began to rot.
Just 18 months after repair work was carried out to timber and steelwork, the Tree Top Way in Salcey Forest has been declared unsafe and has been shut while a structural survey is carried out.
The Forestry Commission closed the structure down because of a “number of health and safety concerns”. It was originally erected in 2005.
A Forestry Commission spokesperson said: “Among other things some of the wooden supports are showing unexpected signs of rot.
“We have an engineering company doing a structural survey to provide us with a report including options and indicative costs to help us make a decision on managing the Tree Top Way.”
The Forestry Commission also confirmed that maintenance work on the walkway took place around 18 months ago.
According to Forest Café owner Katherine Staniforth work was carried out on the former BCIA award winning project around 18 months ago to replace other rotten timbers. Her cafe is close to the walkway site.
“Right now there is a fair bit of rot to the timbers,” Staniforth told New Civil Engineer. “Repair works were carried out a year and a half ago but they have had to shut it now.
“They have given us no indication as to whether it will ever open again and no timeline as to when the assessment will be carried out.”
She added: “For us, we rely on the walkway to attract visitors to the café.”
A petition to reopen the walkway has received more than 32,000 signatures.
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