Is this what MTBers really want or are trail centers having to pander to the H&S 'no win no fee' brigade and create safe and smooth risk-free trails?
I'd say neither; due to its central location and lack of 'competition', Cannock takes a huge amount of traffic and this, along with weather erosion, takes its toll on the sandy/pebbly substrate.
Chase Trails have always said that they'd like to keep the trails as natural as possible, but due to its popularity and with a limited volunteer workforce (up until now, at least) just keeping on top of basic maintenance must feel like an uphill battle.
I'm pleased that they've tried some different surfacing material...it'll bed in, it'll weather...but hopefully it will mean that particular section needs less frequent maintenance. If it pans out, other sections may get the same treatment...then CT could focus their efforts on building new sections instead of repairing the existing.