Wincle & Danebridge Parish
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About Wincle

Location
Wincle sits within the Sutton Ward of Macclesfield Borough in the county of Cheshire. It is also part of the Peak District Nation Park. Although described in a Cheshire County Council website as an “isolated farming area” the large towns of Macclesfield, Buxton, Congleton and Leek are all only less than eight miles away and the large conurbations of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, the Potteries and Sheffield are all within an hour’s drive. The area lies alongside the headwaters of the River Dane, the Staffordshire Moorlands and Roaches lie to the East and the A54 Buxton to Congleton road bisects the parish.

The landscape
Wincle sits in hills that rise out of the Eastern edge of the Cheshire plain. Farms, barns and dry stone walls are all built out of the same harsh millstone grit.

The mixed landscape includes farmland interspersed with deciduous woodlands along the sides of the river valley, rising to heather moorland on the high ground.

Sir Philip Brocklehurst, one of the areas landowners in the late eighteenth century described the area as follows- “Few English Districts are more interesting to those who study nature in her wildest and fairest states…. valleys, rivers, rocks and hills lie mingled in profuse variety; the purple heather blends with the green moss and toppling crags rise out of verdant woods”.

Clearly not much has changed since then and a recent review article described the area as “Conveys a feeling of being totally divorced from the rest of the country. Here rugged heather-clad moorland, swift flowing streams, turbulent rivers, scattered farms and tiny hamlets nestling in the folds of the hills” (Cheshire Life February 2003)

Area History
Wincle was an area of ancient enclosure indicating early settlement. There are a number of sites of archeological importance including Bronze Age cremation sites, barrows and burial mounds, Saxon crosses and stone circles which indicate that this part of East Cheshire is closely linked with the Neolithic and Bronze Age activity in the Pennine region.

Population
The area is only thinly populated with no large concentrations of dwellings. The 2000 Peak Park Report lists the area to have a population density of 0.08 people per hectare – the lowest category in the Peak District area (compared with 0.26 in the park overall and 2.4 per hectare in England overall).
The population of the area has fallen steadily over the last two centuries. The website of the Family History society gives the adult population in 1801 as 351, 1851 as 336, 1901 as 261 and 202 in 1951. Today the Register of Electors lists 147 adults.

Sustainability and Conservation
The Peak Park conservation policy applies in this area. This policy generally involves:

  • Looking after best features of the landscape
  • Improving neglected features such as dry stone walls and ancient woodland
  • Managing new developments such as new buildings and recreation activities so that damage is limited

The 1997 Peak District Policy Plan defines the area around Wincle as a Conservation Area where developments are “Likely to be relatively small scale”.

The farmland area outside the village the area is designated Recreation Zone 2 where recreation and tourism developments are encouraged providing “they are appropriate to the area”. The document defines picnic sites, small car parks, and facilities linked to walking and cycling as developments which are acceptable.

The woodland areas are designated “Natural Zone” which is the most restrictive category wherein developments will only be allowed “in exceptional circumstances”.

 

 
   

 

 

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