I would like anyone still to post to do so but to answer a few questions that are arising...Antur Bro Penmachno is a local business group made up from residents who try to secure funding to implement funding to facilities that can help generate income into the local economy. They are not specifically mountain bikers and neither are an altruistic or philanthropists. They identified an opportunity to utilise their local facility , Penmachno Forest which had once been economically important not just through forestry work but also holding stages of several major rallies including the RAC.
The Forestry Commision gave the group the right to develop the trails on the understanding the FC would have no direct involvement in underwriting the cost of ongoing maintenance which is the groups concern. Although it can raise money to build trail grants to maintain are not forthcoming and the group will have to rely on donations and voluntary help to maintain the trails until it starts to generate sufficient revenue through local businesses that there is a willingness by businesses to help fund the ongoing repair.
On problem of the group is the Snowdonia National Park placed several severe conditions on the venture which relate to the development of a visitor centre and car parking for which they do not yet have sufficient funding, but until all the facilities are in place the planning permission does not allow them to promote the facility which would be essential to make it become an economic driver in the community.
I noticed today a general laxity of riders in slipping their hand in the yellow box when passing it and even saw two car based groups who missed it first time round and i then saw them finish and drive off with no donation so am interested in working out if these were one off accidents or part of a misconception by riders that this is a public facility with free car parking. I am not seeking to find fault with anyone who says they don't pay but I will draw this to the attention of the consultant (who I have been working with over another project in the region) who prepared this project, to see what can be done to protect and improve this revenue stream so as to fund the needed ongoing repairs ensuring the future of the trail. If the trail is not repaired it is more than certain the Forestry Commision, who have no funds to maintain, would ultimately withdraw their consent to the trail operators, and close the trails to avoid any legal liability for accidents on their land. The individual who, I believe, was leading the maintenance todate was recently poached by Forest Commission Wales to be the Warden at Coed y Brenin.