You might have seen an article pinballing around the outdoors forums and groups today about fell runners and their apparent lack of engagement when it comes to trail maintenance.
It’s from the US, but that’s not stopped it being somewhat unfairly jumped on and quoted left, right and centre over here. And it’s started surfacing the same old arguments about trail damage, effort and responsibility.
I’d like to think that we’re better than that now. I can’t say I know much about the situation in Colorado, but I think it’s different here.
If the all the work the advocacy groups are doing has shown one thing, that is that with a bit of conversation, everyone can pull together and work for the benefit of the whole.
The work of those advocacy groups in uniting other groups behind a plan has been amazing. The Cut Gate campaign for example, has brought the horse riders, walkers and mountain bikers together to raise shed loads of cash to maintain paths. The #BeNiceSayHi campaign is the illustration of that and is growing on trails up and down the country. Of course, even when they’re not doing something together, it doesn’t take much effort to find evidence of each of the groups mucking in independently.
We’re past the divisive comments now. We’ve moved on. It’s just not helpful. Yes, there’s still friction here and there, but overall the collaboration; the teamwork; the realisation that we’re all out there simply trying to have a good time in beautiful landscape is the overriding theme coming through.
We just don’t need to get into the tribalism again.
#BeNiceSayHi started over in the US, but it’s really found it’s feet here. Perhaps it’s time for a homecoming.
So while the arguments are rumbling on on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere over a click-baity headline in a mag from 5000 miles away, just remember that somewhere much closer to home there’s likely a mountain biker, a walker, a horserider and a fell-runner having a chat together about where they can do something good together. And they’re probably doing it over a pint.
Mine’s a Peak Ales Great Ridge, ta.