Protest picnic and march to take place at Haigh Hall

Haigh Hall
Haigh Hall

Campaigners seeking to prevent the public being barred from walking around Haigh Hall again are asking the public to join them for a protest.

The Friends of Haigh Hall Heritage and Open Access To All group is planning the show of support at the landmark building and its surrounding countryside next month.

The group will meet at the plantation gates on Sunday, June 9 before walking all the way along the route they have asked Wigan Council to designate a public right of way.

Once at the lawns in front of the grade-II listed building, which is currently run by Contessa Hotels, they will walk to the gates on the main drive between the hall and car park and tie yellow ribbons to them.

There will then be a picnic on the grass overlooking the Douglas Valley.

The True Levellers samba band will play the walkers off from the gates at 12.30pm and gather at the lawn for the rest of the event from 2pm.

A campaign group spokesperson said: “This is something we’ve been planning for a while. People have wanted to publicly show their support for the campaign.

“It evokes a lot of memories and traditions. Having a picnic on the lawns is something Wiganers have been doing for more than 100 years and it’s something we want to continue to do.

“We’ve also sent out an invite to all elected members and hope they will show support for us as well.”

The campaign group has recently met senior Wigan Council civil servants to share their concerns over continuing to ensure access is unrestricted at the hall.

An application to make the main drive a public right of way is with the town hall and a petition is also eligible for debate in a full council meeting.

The council said it had held “productive” meetings and would keep listening.