by Dave Anderson
February 15, 2013
Here’s some exciting news from trail advocacy group Ride Sheffield.
We promote and lobby for mountain bike use and access across Sheffield and the eastern Peak District, and today we’re announcing an exciting idea which could become a model for new trails all over the country.
For a few years now there have been plans to introduce a mountain bike specific circuit at blue/red level around an area on the edge of
Sheffield called Lady Cannings Plantation (location here). It’s designed to promote and encourage mountain bike use and the idea behind the project is to provide some fun, intermediate level trails in the Peak. This will hopefully make getting into the sport in our area a little less intimidating as new, inexperienced riders will have an option to develop their skills before stepping up to the pretty full on rocks and gullies of the Peak itself. It will also be a hell of a lot of fun to blast around for any rider as part of a bigger loop. As you can see from the map, it’s just outside Sheffield next to some main byway routes so it’s in a great spot and will be a fantastic asset to have.
As well you all know, the cuts which local authorities are experiencing are biting pretty hard by now. The green spaces and outdoor funding in particular sees fairly fierce reduction in funding, and this is something that our friends at Sheffield City Council Parks and Countryside have run up against here. They have done some great work in moving forward the approvals process and getting us permission to build trails. What they don’t have these days is the funding for the trail itself and with a project of this magnitude, volunteer dig days just aren’t going to cut it for the whole job. We need diggers and trackbuilders in the woods cutting the trail.
This is where our new idea comes in; riders crowd fund the trail.
Part of our group are the nationally renowned trail builders Biketracks. They built the Parkwood Springs MTB circuit in the city amongst other things. We want to raise as much money as possible so that Jordan and Cheggs can go and get in there with their diggers and build us a great trail. We still intend to put in a massive effort on volunteer days to shape and finish the trail, but basically the more
money we raise, the longer the diggers can be in the woods. Our initial aim is to raise at least £7,500 just so the diggers can cut the route of the trail, but everything helps. More money means more and better materials to build with once the diggers are finished. More money means using mechanical equipment to fill and shape the trail.
And think about it; it’s not that scary a number. Given the volume of riders who visit the Peak, it would take just 750 riders all donating
£10 and we’re at our first target. £10! That’s a round of drinks. It’s not much to ask to get a new trail off the ground.
So how do you donate?
You either fire across your money via internet banking to the Ride Sheffield account using the following details:
Account is with HSBC.
Or you can donate via Paypal. The address for Paypal payments is email@example.com
If you can spare more than a tenner, amazing, send it over. If you can’t, send a couple of quid; it all helps. If you’re totally strapped, keep an eye on the Ride Sheffield website and come and put some spade work in when we need to finish the trail off. Be a part of the project in any way you can and we can get this trail built.
We aim to break ground in the summer, with trail finished in the autumn. We’re really excited about this. There is so much space around
the country which local authorities could be lobbied and persuaded to open up to us if we bring the funding. This could be the start of
Join us and make it happen.