Despite a petition signed by almost 22,000 people, Forestry Commission England will go ahead with planned removal of problem trails in Wharncliffe Woods.
After releasing a statement in rebuttal to the petition, it would appear that certain trails in Wharncliffe Woods will be removed from an area of the woods previously marked by the Forestry Commission as unsuitable for trail building.
Less than a week later, it would appear that these problem trails will be removed. On the plus side, this petition and discussion has served to open a better dialogue between the trail builders and the Forestry Commission.
Read the full story from the team behind the petition below.
From the bottom of my heart I want to thank every one of you for your support. It has been incredibly touching to have had such an overwhelming response and response from the community. We have tried many attempts and offered various solutions in an attempt to hold off destructive works until we have had a meeting. I am sad to say however that our attempt has failed, the Forestry Commission have refused this and will be removing the trails very soon – within the week in all probability.
Reasons they cite are as follows:
- Safety and liability reasons.
- The trails were built against their wishes in an area they will not tolerate as it conflicts with their management plans.
Though the liability issues could have be addressed immediately and the management plan discussed in time upon meeting, also implied is that it would set a precedent that will have implications for them further down the road, which is an understandable position as a nationwide land manager looking at the broader picture, however strongly we disagree with the view.
Though these trails will be removed, the F.C. are open to discussion in the near future and to developing a positive relationship with the riders and builders of Wharncliffe. Wharncliffe has been a home to mountain biking for many years, and despite this setback it will most definitely continue to be. We are optimistic and will be working towards the future so keep an eye on progress as it comes.
Right now though, get out to the woods and enjoy them before they are gone!
Thank you again.
But before you start crying out at how unreasonable the Forestry Commission are acting, it’s worth giving their statement in response to the petition a read.
The FC’s response states that they are only removing a small area of the trails that aren’t said to be safe for the woods. The FC claim that they had always said from day one that these specific trails couldn’t be built but that riders had gone ahead regardless.