A NEW 'artisan' food van is set to come to a popular beauty spot despite objections from Ramblers' groups.

The Woodland Trust has been granted planning permission to place the van on a section of a newly-built car park on Walker Road, close to Bolton Moors.

The Ramblers Association’s Bolton Group said members were 'horrified' by the plans in an objection letter written to Bolton Council’s planning department.

Jackie Roberts, footpath secretary of the association, said: “[The committee] are horrified at the idea of a food concession van on the Walker Fold Car Park and wish to lodge a strong objection that it is totally out of character with the location on the edge of Bolton Moors, the starting point for peaceful walks in open country."

They described the van as "out of character" with the area and raised concerns about litter.

The Woodland Trust said it will enhance visitors' experience.

In response to the complaints, Mark Gordon, the Woodland Trust’s site manager for the Smithills Estate, said his organisation had employed a ranger to help keep the area clean.

He said: “To further improve the visitor experience we have submitted a planning application for high quality mobile food concession, which will complement our already approved pop-up visitor centre and picnic area.

“The bespoke food concession will use locally sourced produce and is part of our commitment to support the local social enterprise on the estate. It will be high quality unit with a design sympathetic to its setting.

“We also have a full-time ranger and a keen group of volunteers who ensure the car park and surrounds are kept spotlessly clean. In fact having a regular presence on the car park will inherently reduce the risks of anti-social behaviour and encourage visitors of all walks of life to enjoy the outdoor benefits of such a beautiful natural area.”