We the undersigned demand the right to Preserve Open Access to Haigh Hall grounds and its Woodlands for Future Generations
The Friends of Haigh Hall Heritage and Open Access for All are seeking support from the people of Wigan, and further afield to join our campaign to keep this popular and well used route through Haigh Plantations to the Hall, and from the main car park to the Hall, open and accessible for ALL.
We have now submitted an application to the local Highways Authority to have the route dedicated as a Public Right of Way on the grounds that it has been a well used route for more than 20 years
Since the sale of Haigh Hall to Wigan Corporation in 1947, and before then, the public has enjoyed the right to wander through Haigh Estate and enjoy the magnificent views from Haigh Hall as far as the Welsh Hills.
A letter from the Earl of Crawford to the Town Clerk, dated 19 March 1947, prior to the sale, stated
"The Hall and all it has stood for, and the Plantations which have for generations been placed by my Family at the disposal of all our neighbours, have meant much in the life of the District. We have always felt it a privilege to have been able to do this, and I have put in the forefront of my mind my intention that these benefits should be available for the public to an even greater degree than hitherto and in perpetuity."
The above statement is still true today, as confirmed by the current Earl of Crawford in a letter to Wigan Civic Trust in October 2013.
However, the new tenant of Haigh Hall, Contessa Hotels, does not seem to agree with the intentions of the Earl of Crawford , evidenced by the erection of gates north of the Hall, by the Stables entrance. The hotel wishes to redirect the public onto an alternative path, which is currently not fit for purpose and will never be suitable for the less abled or wheel chair users because of its width and gradient.
Over the years thousands of stunning weddings and events have been held successfully at Haigh Hall, without the need to restrict public access, but Contessa Hotels appears not to trust local park users and wants the areas around the Hall private when an event is being held.
A family with young children or an infirm or elderly relative visiting the park, on the day of an event, would have their access to the grounds around the Hall denied or severely restricted.
Extract of the Lease Between Wigan Council and Scullindale Global Ltd (Contessa Hotels)
The Lessee will not erect any, fence, hedge or structure along the boundary to the Premises or within the Premises which shall prevent, hinder or restrict pedestrian access and egress of members of the public along any of the pathways or roads within the Premises to and from the Lessor's neighbouring property.
Do you remember walking or taking the tractor to Haigh Hall as a child?
Do you run/walk/cycle this route on a regular basis?
If so, please sign the petition. A well supported petition will help to allow future generations to continue to enjoy these pleasures.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TO PROTECT YOUR PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY STATING WHY YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT