Macclesfield Forest – what’s going on?

The ‘complete closure’ of Macclesfield Forest following Storm Emma has raised a few eyebrows, so I called United Utilities to find out more

Talking to United Utilities I’m assured that the whole forest is not closed – just a number of sections of footpaths and bridleways. These sections are where there has been a significant fall of trees – at times in the hundreds on single sections alone – and United Utilities’ harvesting team need to do a considerable amount of work to tracks or make safe sections where there are still branches and trees overhead at risk of falling.

I’m told that the biggest problem they are facing at the moment is people removing tape or signage explaining what’s going on and there is a legitimate safety concern about users on those paths. It’s not in their interest to simply blanket close paths and that’s not what’s going on.

I’m  also assured me that these closures are not a stepping stone to removing access to any user group in the forest. It’s purely so they can manage the removal, making safe and tidying of the hundreds of trees that have fallen throughout the forest. It will be restored to absolutely how it was before, I understand.

It sounds like the biggest challenge is that there are simply so many trees down that the closures and diversions seem like a blanket. It might take a while to sort it all out so the best advice is follow the signs on the paths and anticipate your planned Macc Forest ride might be affected.

I’ll stay in touch with UU plc to keep you updated.

Featured image: The copyright on this image is owned by Mike Shields and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.

KoftheP

 

 

 

Advertisements

We’re fixing Cut Gate. Come and see us at SHAFF.

This year’s Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and the Outdoor City Weekender, sees the official launch of the 2018 Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign.

The bogs on Cut Gate are in the campaign – we have an opportunity to sort them out  – but we need donations from everyone if we’re to achieve the £70,000 repair target.

mom

A lot of money means a lot of work right? No not really . It sounds like it, granted, but that’s mainly due to materials and access – flag works/drainage to three of the worst sections over the bog of doom. There are no plans to sanitise or fully surface Cut Gate! It’s all about sorting the bogs while maintaining the character of the trail. The conversations have been led by mountain bikers too.

20171120_1532111829658479.jpgRide Sheffield, Peak District MTB and I will be there with the BMC and the Peak District National Park at the launch event 6-7pm on Friday 9th March at the Showroom.  We’re also around on the Saturday so if you’re doing anything during the weekender, come in and say hi.

Watch this awesome vid and come and join us during the weekend.
https://shaff.co.uk/shaff18/mend-our-mountains-ii-launch

Most importantly, click here and DONATE!
http://mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk/portfolio-item/cut-gate/

Please share with any mountain bikers and outdoors folks you know.

 

Support #CutGate: get a discount at Adrenaline Cycles

The Mend Our Mountains Cut Gate appeal has got off to a flying start. With donations coming in from all corners it’s great to see the mountain bike community embrace it and play their part in protecting this iconic trail.

But there’s still a long way to go – which is why it’s great to see support from Nottingham Bike shop Adrenaline Cycles.

Kevin has offered £5 off a basic service for anyone contributing to the #cutgate pot . So if you’re down that way and need a bike servicing, do your bit for Cut Gate and get clean bill of health for your bike!

Details here

Adrenaline Cycles on Facebook

Cheers Adrenalin Cycles!

 

  • What do you mean you haven’t heard of the Cut Gate thing? Get on this! http://mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk/portfolio-item/cut-gate/

To convert the herd, got to spread the word…

As you know, KoftheP is a simple idea; you ride your bike and then tweet what the conditions were like on the ground. On the back of that riders can choose where to ride so that it’s not just a slog through mud. Also, the muddy bits get chance to recover.

Pretty simple.

But the Twitter feed only hits certain people, and rarely non-bikers. So it’s important to be able to take what we all do to those other groups.

The Cut Gate thing has been ace in showing that we are a responsible bunch and has led to some great conversations with other users. I’m looking forward to seeing that collaboration grow.

But it’s brilliant too to get the message into the mainstream media and maybe into the minds of those who perhaps have a different, less positive view of the mountain biking community.

You might have seen this week’s Sheffield Telegraph where I’m posing badly and freezing my tweets off. It was in The Star too.

20180213_133436.jpg

It’s a small thing but hopefully it’ll get into non-riders’ minds that we’re a decent bunch really and we can all get on on the trails and more importantly; work together to improve them.

So that’s why I’m in the paper.

You know all the stuff going on locally that shows what mountain bikers do for the area – you just need to look at Peak District MTB’s and Ride Sheffield’s pages for examples on the ground.

If you want science, you can look at the work of Marion & Wimpey, Pickering et al or Thurston and Reader to know that the impact we all have on the landscape is comparable.

But ultimately it’s better just to have a chat, do our bit for the Peak District and to put it simply: Be Nice, Say Hi and always wear your pants on the outside.

*thanks David Bocking for the piece and Sheffield Telegraph and The Star for running the story.

Apologies Shed Seven and Adam West.

 

Cut Gate: bright lights, big city, northerners

It’s not every day you find yourself in the Houses of Parliament. But today, me and Si from Ride Sheffield went along to the official launch of the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign – representing the Cut Gate project alongside the Peak District National Park.

With talks from the BMC and Alan Hinkes OBE – the only Briton to have climbed all 14 mountains over 8000 metres – the campaign kicked off with great support from the hundred or so present, under the watchful eyes of Cromwell and Churchill.

It was amusing to hear “we’ve even got some mountain bikers here” at one point, but said in good humour it was recognition of where we are as a group now – getting a fair say in decisions that affect us.

Take a look at the vid I’ve quickly put together featuring Sarah Fowler, Chief Exec of the Peak District National Park Authority , the ever erudite Si and some fella from Peak District MTB talking about Bob Geldof.

What a start to the campaign – thanks to everyone for your support so far. Now it’s over to you!

#cutgate

#mendourmountains

Mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk

Mend Our Mountains: Cut Gate Path

219 BMC MOM PARTNERSHIP LOGO FINAL SMALL BLACK V4

Today we launch our Cut Gate campaign.

Cut Gate is one of the those paths that comes up time and time again on @KoftheP. Normally it’s a “what’s Cut Gate like?” question. Pretty regularly, it’s a conditions update. Very, very rarely it’s an update which says “Cut Gate’s great, ride it”. Perhaps only after a baking few days, or in a deep freeze.

So it’s a great, great privilege to be in the position to do something about it.

Cut Gate has been adopted by the BMC as one of its primary projects in the Mend Our Mountains campaign Conversations were kicked off by me and Ride Sheffield, and working with Peak District MTB, the “Cut Gate thing” was first picked up by the Peak District National Park Authority, supported by the horse riding and walking groups locally and eventually selected as one of the primary Mend Our Mountains projects. It’s fair to say we didn’t expect that!

It’s fantastic recognition for this collaborative project and is something I’ve been proud to be heavily involved in from the early days.

So what’s going on?

Well working with Moors for the Future – the PDNPA supported conservation group – we’ve pulled together a plan to sensitively patch up the various boggy bits up top while maintaining the character of the trail. Every one of us involved in the project loves Cut Gate for the same reasons you do – so to be leading the conversation on how it should be sorted is exactly where we need to be. Even better; very influential groups are willing to support us both financially and in every other way.

But enough of this. WE NEED YOUR HELP.

Tomorrow our pages will be live so get over to cutgate.org to get the full details on the ‘Cut Gate thing’.

Second, tell everyone you know about it. And get them to support it however they can! We need just about everything people, groups and businesses can do: pure cash, sponsorship, promotion, moral support, everything. But mainly money. Please chip in what you can. You’ll find a range of information on cutgate.org

So, shamelessly, Cut Gate will form a big part of what I’m bonging on about for the next few months. And I see no shame in that. You want to ride Cut Gate. I want to ride Cut Gate. Let’s sort it so we can.

Press release| Posters | Flyer | Business

*Thanks to supporters so far: Magic Rock Brewery for Bike Day, Paul Testa Architecture for printing and Radventure for the awesome photos.

A step in the right direction

It’s fair to say that in the last few years, the relationship between the local mountain biking community and Derbyshire County Council has not been where anybody would like it to be. We all know the history and ongoing tussles, but we keep on keeping on, hoping that as we continue to demonstrate how well a relationship can work that things may just improve.

With the local elections this summer came a change of leadership at Derbyshire County Council. With new people at the top, could we do something to reset the relationship and change the way we work together. Worth a try eh?

 

Following the election I* contacted the leader of the council – via Twitter – to see if we could look at how we work together and try to improve things. He responded positively and, following a few weeks of trying to line up diaries, yesterday I headed off to the council offices for a chat with the acting cabinet member for Highways at Derbyshire County Council.

And it was a good meeting.

I can’t go into too much detail about what we discussed – nor would I want to over promise anything – but rest assured that I’m confident that we’ll begin seeing some positive changes in how DCC works with us.

No cards were left off the table, nothing was glossed over. I had an incredibly frank and open discussion about how we’ve found ourselves in this situation, how we think things can be better, how we’d like to see things improve and what we as a community can do to help.

And yes, we did talk about Chapel-en-le-Frith BOAT 144 aka Rushup.

So, watch this space. I came out of the meeting feeling very positive about what we can do and in the coming weeks I should be able to share more. I’ll also be at the Peak District MTB AGM next week, so if you’d like to talk to me about it, join up and come along.

Oh, and it’s the third anniversary of the Rushup debacle on Monday – what a birthday present eh?

 

*To clear up any confusion – KoftheP (me) got in touch with DCC, but I happen to be on the PDMTB committee too so could draw on the strength of both groups in the conversation. It’s all pulling in the same direction!