FIFTY new signs ordering dogs to be kept on leads have disappeared from Macclesfield Forest.
United Utilities, which owns the land, put them up at Christmas after reports of people being bitten and deer being chased by out of control pooches.
It is thought that some dog owners opposed to the move could have moved the signs as a protest.
The water firm is now urging dog owners to adhere to the new rules.
Trevor Greenhalgh, woodland officer, said: “Unfortunately the number of incidents and complaints involving dogs has increased to a level where we have to take some kind of action. As well as the increasing problem of dog-fouling, three people have been bitten in the last month and a deer was chased into the reservoir and had to swim to safety.
“Last August we ran an event with the RSPCA encouraging responsible dogownership.
“Sadly things have not improved and we felt the need to take action before someone, possibly a child, is seriously hurt.”
●● One of the signs which have vanished