Walkers, cyclists and horse riders are being given advanced warning of disruption as the countdown begins to a popular Lake District rally where more than 100 cars and around 5,000 spectators will flock to the forest spectacular.
The Malcolm Wilson Rally is set for Saturday 3 March 2012 and rights of way will be closed as drivers race over woodland tracks and land around Grizedale Forest, Wythop and Whinlatter.
All footpaths, bridleways and trails between Coniston Water and the Hawkshead to Satterthwaite Road and others at Wythop and Whinlatter will be out of bounds during the event.
The Forestry Commission will also be closing most permitted paths, cycle routes, and open access land around the rally routes.
Clear signs will be in place explaining path closures and the Lake District National Park’s Access and Rights of Way Officer, Nick Thorne apologised for any inconvenience.
“We really have no option but to put public safety first,” he said. “It would present a serious risk if people were to carry on using the rights of way when the rally is in progress”.
Katie Jarvis, Recreation Ranger for the Forestry Commission at Grizedale added: “The rally is a great event to watch, but for those who would rather walk or mountain bike there are alternative routes on the east side of the Hawkshead to Satterthwaite road.
“Although the North Face trail is closed for the day, a mapped alternative – taking in the delights of Claife – is available from our visitor centre and bike shop. On Sunday we will be fully open for business as usual”.
At Whinlatter, the Altura Trail will be closed for the morning, although all of the forest should be open as usual by lunchtime as the rally moves south. Closed paths and tracks will be clearly marked with notices.
Spectator car parks will also be clearly signposted and if possible, non-rally visitors should avoid using roads in the affected areas on the day.
More details on the rally route and car parks can be found on www.malcolmwilson.co.uk The Forestry Commission also publish information on www.forestry.gov.uk/grizedale and www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter