Sheffield/Peak Trail Crowd Funding Project – Phase 1

 Here’s an update on Ride Sheffield’s crowd sourcing funding initiative for new trails at Lady Cannings Plantation…

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It’s been a good few months since Ride Sheffield launched the very first crowd funding initiative for a bike trail. Over the summer money has been coming in steadily, with some local businesses also putting chunks of money into the pot. With the money pledged so far our total currently stands at just over £8,500 which is amazing. THANK YOU SO MUCH to all who have contributed.

However (you knew there was one of those coming, didn’t you), we have spent the summer and autumn working with Jon Dallow from Sheffield City Council and Bike Track to finalise plans, and there is so much more going on surrounding the area than first though, and all that has had to be taken into account.

Originally when we launched the initiative we were looking for at least £7,500 for machine digging, plus a tonne of volunteer work to
put in the trail. Having discussed it further with the Council (the land owner) and having had another year of experience with the trails
at Greno, it is clear that volunteer dug trails just don’t take the hammer of the high usage a facility like this will undoubtedly
attract. The model Sheffield City Council (SCC) want to pursue is professionally constructed, volunteer maintained trails. This results
in much higher quality, more sustainable trails.

The upshot is that a full loop is planned much longer than originally suggested, in 3 phases, which will cost between £50-£60k in total. We are going to get Phase 1 built (see the attached map, Phase one is the northern most trail running parallel to the road and new bridleway). We need £20k for this, so maths fans, that’s another £11.5k we need to raise, and we need to do it by Christmas to get the build on for March 2014.

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Phase 1 is a downhill only trail which takes advantage of the fact that SCC have just upgraded the main trail through the middle of Lady
Cannings to a bridleway and fixed and surfaced it in those awful boggy sections. This means we have a fully legal and surfaced climb through the woods on the new bridleway and we can spend all our money raised on a lovely downhill singletrack of around 1.2km in length. It gives a loop of about 2.5km in length when you include the BW and also gives a lovely link to Houndkirk Moor.

Once we’re up and running with the funding and the build for Phase 1, we can roll onto drumming up the funding next summer for phases 2 and 3. This is probably a 3 year project, but what we end up with if we pull it off is over 5kms of dedicated blue MTB trail with red opt ins linking Houndkirk Moor and Ringinglow.

We know it’s a lot more than we originally thought, but when you work through the plans it will be so much more worthwhile getting a fully pro built trail that links in with the future plans for the whole area. SCC are hoping to get funding for a campsite in the woods and
also to upgrade some footpaths in the area to get us off the roads around Ringinglow when riding out from Porter Clough. The new trail
would link in and enhance all of these plans, and we’re super excited about the possibilities if we can get the money together.

As we said, we are aiming to raise another £11,500 by Christmas. Give via the following details.

RIDE SHEFFIELD
40-31-02
91574205

Account is with HSBC.

Or you can donate via Paypal. The address for Paypal payments is ridesheffield@gmail.com

It’s the start of something amazing not only for Sheffield, but for the whole of the UK. This model could provide any group the means to get trails built by raising the money from riders and working with the landowner. We are all so excited.

Keep the faith, tell your mates to pony up, sell something and put the money in the pot. Talk to local businesses, bike shops, any shops! Anyone who could be interested in helping. Currently the businesses who have helped out are as diverse and a conveyor supplier, an architecture practice and a bike company.

Even if you don’t live in Sheffield, if you visit the Peak then help us out; it’s an extra trail for when you visit.

To paraphrase Bob Geldof: We don’t want your sympathy. Give us your money!

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