We reported before on the potential closure of Lee Quarry, and it seems mountain bikers just aren’t going to accept that. Yesterday, organised by local rider Sam Hopley, the Lee Quarry Big Day Out took place, drawing in hundreds of riders. We asked Sam a few questions about the event.
What were your main goals for the day?
To raise awareness for the quarry, to show the council that there is a lot of support available, eg volunteers willing to give their time to put something back into the quarry, and to build that volunteer group.
Are there any resources people can look to, or ways they can help?
If people want to get involved or see what we have planned they should join our Facebook pages:
Lee/Cragg Maintenance Team https://www.facebook.com/groups/932400856813824/
and also the Lee/Cragg Quarry MTB page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/373374502868052/
What kind of case are you making to keep it open?
At the moment our case is by showing support. We want the council to understand that there are a lot of people who can help with Lee Quarry, taking some of the work off their hands. We’ve already taken part in a litter picking day to again show our commitment to the council and to clean up the area.
Was this organised in contact with the council, or did you go entirely under the radar?
The council was notified but it was mainly done under the radar. The council did pull through and show some support though, by helping direct cars to the car park and showing a presence on the day.
Have you been talking to any of the staff that have been building and maintaining it?
It would appear that there has been little or no maintenance for quite some time. The council have said they do want to keep it open and are looking for ways to do so. We have a lot of people willing to help. I’ve spoken with Tony Lund who works for the council and was part of the original build and he is also keen to keep it open.
Chipps would like to add: “It often seems to be the way with trail centres – you can get grants and sponsorship to build them, but maintenance costs can equal a significant fraction of the initial budget and often aren’t included because they aren’t sexy”.
If the future of Lee Quarry depends on riders filling that shortfall, they appear to be off to a roaring start. Well done to Sam and everyone else involved.