CHESHIRE police are investigating a report that a man threatened a female dog walker with a firearm on farmland in Mickle Trafford.

The incident is one the reasons that landowner Huw Rowlands, of Grange Farm, closed all the permissive footpaths crossing his land yesterday.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “On Friday 15 September at 3pm police received reports of an incident in Stile End, Mickle Trafford.

“A woman was walking her dog along a footpath when she was approached by a man who threatened her. The man was carrying what is believed to be a firearm.

“Enquiries are ongoing and officers are trying to trace the man involved to establish the full circumstances of the incident.

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Cheshire police on 101 quoting incident number 564 of 15 September.

Mr Rowlands, who produces Red Poll beef, had previously announced that he would close the footpaths on October 31 to protect his cattle from a parasite picked up from dog mess.

Posting on a Mickle Trafford community Facebook group, Mr Rowlands said: “Given the seriousness and number of incidents both real and alleged during the last week, all permissive paths on our land will close as from midnight tonight, 19th September with the agreement of Defra. Cheshire Police have been notified. Pubic footpaths remain open. You are required to keep to the path and keep dogs under strict control, on a lead and on the footpath.

“Please also remember that damaging or removing signs is a criminal act and the removal dog muck is your responsibility as a dog owner, and that you can be fined for failure to dispose of it correctly.”