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Helvellyn homogenization continues

busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
edited July 2009 in Routes
Anyone been up thier recently, is it true that the path builders are flying up rock to sanitize Lowman, a real travisty.
I know that erosion in the hills is a problem, but why do the path builders make it really difficult for mtb to use these trails, thay are designated Bridelways, how could a horse possibly access one of these trails, armoured with humongous steps that seem to be engineered for the Big friendly giant, i despair at times.

The red socks have a voice, but what about mtbikers, do the national parks ever consisider our concerns, we need to stand up and be counted.

Posts

  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Have you tried raising your concerns with the National Parks Authority and/or National Trust? If you want to start a letter-writing campaign I'm all up for it, I like stirring...
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  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    I'd contact the CTC - they should be able to offer some advise on this.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    edited July 2009
    Guys i wouldn't know where to start, having been mtbing for about a year this time round.
    The access situation just seems so discriminatry in England for bikes off road. The few good legal mtb routes we do have seem to dwindle at a fast rate of knots, the National parks seem to have an agenda that discriminates against us, there policy seems to go against all the principles of conserving the natural environment and sanitizing it, to produce a picture postcard view of the landscape from manacured footpaths.

    Yet if you go to Scotland and say the Cairngorm NP they openly encourage mtbing, on the front of thier brochure they have a dude mountain biking!! different access laws, a far more progressive approach, the ramblers have us by the balls in this country.

    Erosion is an issue so why not repair paths in a more user friendly way, these armoured stepped highways are even unpleasant to walk on, i don't get it.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    The few good legal mtb routes we do have seem to dwindle at a fast rate of knots

    And your evidence is....???

    Changing the status of any public right of way is a long, complex and expensive business.

    It's very rare (in fact it's so rare I've actually found rocking-horse sh!t to prove it) that once established a public right of way is closed or downgraded. Moved yes, restricted yes, but other than that...
    the National parks seem to have an agenda that discriminates against us

    Again, can you provide any evidence or examples??

    Going off your original post about the armoured routes on the Helvellyn range, think about usage. I'd hazard a guess that 99.9% of the traffic onto, along and off the ridge is pedestrian, 0.1% is bicycle and 0.0% recurring is equestrian.

    So really, provision for access by bicycles and horses in this area isn't an issue in the wider scheme of things. If you think about it, those of us who venture up into the mountains proper are a bit "special" (if you get my drift) anyway.
    Their policy seems to go against all the principles of conserving the natural enviroment and sanitizing it, to produce a picture postcard view of the landscape from manacured footpaths.

    Eh? You're contradicting yourself here. Unfortunately the Lakes, and most of the other National Parks are victims of their own success. The Lakeland fells and the popular routes have become massively scarred with thousands of pair of boots tramping up and down day after day, year after year. By armouring the tracks and encouraging users to stick to them it gives the land at either side chance to recover.

    The picture-postcard thing is the whole point of National Parks - to preserve the landscape for future generations. Armouring of paths is all part of that process by preventing unecessary wear.
    Yet if you go to Scotland and say the Cairngorm NP they openly encourage mtbing, on the front of thier brochure they have a dude mountain biking!! different access laws, a far more progressive approach

    Yes, the Scots have it far easier as far as access law is concerned than we do, but I find that it makes route-finding away from trail centres far more difficult. Personally I can't be bothered arguing if I'm challenged - having the law on my side and knowing that I'm in the right is a lot easier.
    the ramblers have us by the balls in this country

    Rubbish. The Ramblers Association (which by the way DOESN'T represent all walkers) has done far more in it's time for access to the countryside for ALL users than the CTC/IMBA/BCF or whoever else put together. The RA has no hidden agenda and does not aim to discourage or prevent use of the countryside by anyone. What they do stand for (and I admire and support this) is correct, lawful and responsible trail use. I have a neighbour who is the local rights of way officer for the RA and he always encourages me to let him know if I experience any access or rights of way problems or issues.
    Erosion is an issue so why not repair paths in a more user friendly way, these armoured stepped highways are even unpleasant to walk on.

    Valid point, I'll give you that one. I think the problem here is that very often trails are being repaired as a matter of urgency - it's a case of closing the stable door. Once erosion gets so bad that it has to be acted upon very often there isn't time to form committees, go through consultation and all the other bobbins that has to be gone through. So it's left to very small, very focused groups who will act quickly and at minimal cost.

    Very often the only way to get your opinions through is work with the powers that be, not against them unless you can get and be assured of massive public support - and even then you often end up working with your "enemy" and the result will only ever be a compromise.

    Believe me I've been through this with motorcycling and shooting sports - i'ts a difficult, ugly and very, very time consuming process but it can work if you can build a valid and legitimate case.
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
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  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    dave_hill wrote:
    The few good legal mtb routes we do have seem to dwindle at a fast rate of knots
    And your evidence is....???

    What i mean is from the limited resource of legal trails, look at Dollywaggon pike now , not exactly the most thrilling of rides, unless you are into S&M.
    Changing the status of any public right of way is a long, complex and expensive business.
    It's very rare (in fact it's so rare I've actually found rocking-horse sh!t to prove it) that once established a public right of way is closed or downgraded. Moved yes, restricted yes, but other than that...
    the National parks seem to have an agenda that discriminates against us
    Again, can you provide any evidence or examples??

    I'm just venting my spleen, but i'm sure most rangers are rabid ramblers, with an irrational hatred of mtbrs.
    Going off your original post about the armoured routes on the Helvellyn range, think about usage. I'd hazard a guess that 99.9% of the traffic onto, along and off the ridge is pedestrian, 0.1% is bicycle and 0.0% recurring is equestrian.

    So really, provision for access by bicycles and horses in this area isn't an issue in the wider scheme of things. If you think about it, those of us who venture up into the mountains proper are a bit "special" (if you get my drift) anyway.
    Their policy seems to go against all the principles of conserving the natural enviroment and sanitizing it, to produce a picture postcard view of the landscape from manacured footpaths.
    Eh? You're contradicting yourself here. Unfortunately the Lakes, and most of the other National Parks are victims of their own success. The Lakeland fells and the popular routes have become massively scarred with thousands of pair of boots tramping up and down day after day, year after year. By armouring the tracks and encouraging users to stick to them it gives the land at either side chance to recover.

    The picture-postcard thing is the whole point of National Parks - to preserve the landscape for future generations. Armouring of paths is all part of that process by preventing unecessary wear.

    I know these monstrosities prevent erosion! what i'm getting at is these armoured highways are in away the urbanisation of the fells, a bit like taking a trip to the supermarket, it is hardly suprising that a lot of the underequiped townies that frequent these manacured trails, have a false sense of security, what ever next colour coded marker posts!. You are hardly going to get a feel for the countryside if you are not even getting your shoes dirty.

    Trails to control erosion should blend in with the natural environment, be more organic and evolve, become part of the landscape rather than a manmade feature. At present it is a quick fix solution. I have seen the sanitisation of trails all over the country from Torridon to the Peak, perhaps it is a necesary evil, i just think it could be done better, if i have to jump another fecking waterbar.....gurn.
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