High Peak beauty spot makeover gets helping hand from Covid vaccine firm volunteers

Winter walkers at Combs reservoir can feel a little safer underfoot this week, after workers from a leading regional employer took a day off from battling the pandemic to help Chapel Parish Council resurface the path around the water’s edge.

The reservoir is a popular destination for wildlife watchers and casual walkers who enjoy the scenic circular route, but the ground conditions can get particularly challenging in the wetter part of the year.

The Canal & River Trust, which manages the site, has spent the past 18 months carrying out a programme of improvements, including laying slate along the path.

The project recently got a helping hand from 12 volunteers who work at Macclesfield pharmaceuticals firm AstraZeneca. They spent a busy day working alongside councillors and other local residents to transform part of the walkway using equipment donated by Chapel Tool Hire.

The finished stretch of the footpath.

Councillor Chris Sizeland, who is working on the project alongside the trust, said: “Around Combs reservoir is a lovely walk-through gorgeous countryside with a choice of two pubs for refreshments en route.

“Most of the footpath by necessity follows a clay bund that unfortunately is like walking in treacle for a large part of the year. All this work when competed will make it accessible all year-round.”

He added: “The AstraZeneca volunteers worked tirelessly and cheerfully installing shuttering and transporting and laying the crushed slate surfacing material.

“The path surfacing is an ongoing project and we would welcome any local employer who would be willing to do the same – it’s good team bonding. These are a welcome addition to the public volunteers who continue to do a great job.”

Chapel Tool Hire helped with a free loan of equipment which made light work of shifting the slate into place.

Other recent changes at Combs have included work to thin the woodland to allow more space for suitable tree species and wildflowers to thrive.

The eventual goal of the works is to achieve prestigious Green Flag status for the site, a scheme which recognises the UK’s best kept parks and green spaces.

As well as the footpath improvements, there are plans to install new visitor information boards and picnic tables.

Any local employer, community group or residents interested in supporting the volunteer effort can contact Coun Sizeland via par[email protected]

Volunteers from AstraZeneca got their hands dirty on a day of action at Combs reservoir.

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The day provided plenty of opportunities for team bonding.