Josh Bryceland asks riders to stop digging

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Josh ‘Ratboy’ Bryceland has asked riders to not build any new features in the Nab Quarry and Styperson Park area, near Stockport, as he is working on managing the area to preserve it and access for the local community.

In an Instagram post he says:

Attention all Nab Quarry / Styperson park users:

We have taken on the management of Breck Quarry and Styperson Park. Our primary goal is to increase safety for all users and preserve the natural beauty of the area for the local community.

There will be some changes to the area and I regretfully inform the bikers we are going to remove the dirt jumps from southern boundary adjoining long lane. In future all trails will be a safe distance from the footpath, and eventually separated by fencing, so there can be no startled walkers when bikes come flying down the path. Unfortunately we nearly lost the site all together due to the lack of respect showed by the young cyclists, who frequently leave litter and build dangerous features in the wrong areas.

Also I would like to ask all users to refrain from building anymore jumps/ features from now on. If anything is to be built it will be by us, in an area that isn’t currently inhabited by wildlife flora and fauna. We would also ask cyclists to refrain from using the Styperson side of the hill as there is a forest school operating on the land and they have their own concerns with the bikes around children.

The footpaths will be taken care of, equipped with bins and benches and resurfaced so they are good all year round. we want the area to continue to be enjoyed by all but in a safe and positive manner.

We really do plan to regenerate the area, by encouraging as much bio diversity as possible, keeping bikes to set trails and managing the woodland for optimum health. We will need your help in doing this as we are spending as much time as we can in there but still getting some negative feedback from the council. We understand this current situation can be dangerous and want to keep the bikes away from other users until these changes are in place.

In short:

  • Please do not build any new features
  • Please cyclists, stay away from the footpath and dirt jumps.
  • Do not enter Styperson as it is private with no right of way.
  • Walkers, be aware that kids on bikes can be fearless and unpredictable.

If you need to get in touch, please contact me directly by email:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by josh bryceland (@tonio_ratley)

It’s heartening to see a rider with Josh’s profile and style being proactive in taking on land management for the wider community, and drawing attention to the importance of respecting wildlife and other outdoor users. It’s not all hucks and jibs, there’s meetings to attend and forms to fill in too!

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Comments (11)

    Nice to see pro’s getting in on the environmental impact of illegal digging/trails.

    Well played Ratboy

    Good stuff, need many more doing similar all over though…watching videos of people doing this kind of thing does give some people the impression it can be done anywhere and everywhere. Hopefully this will succeed.

    Good work. Thoughtless digging, hither and thither can ruin a small piece of woodland.

    I’m a local and have lots of mixed feelings about this.
    1) It’s a former spoil heap from a quarry – the natural aspect is pretty new – youngish trees. Bluebells were abundant in spring and are definitely fewer due to criss-crossing trails.
    2) It used to be great when there was a balance of dug areas and left-alone areas. Over the past 2 years people have got a bit dig-happy – criss-crossing just about every line to make it hard to see the bluebells.
    3) Lockdown has made it a much more popular spot for walking and biking as it makes a decent looping back home spot for Bollington residents and is our closest riding spot. It never rode better than last spring.
    4) The most recent dirt jumps made people cross over the footpath to get a run-in run-out – a bit daft. The resulting speeds were way too much and rider control was sometimes sketchy.
    5) The idea of separating the footpath by a fence might not go down too well – it’s a nice open area to explore by foot as well as bike
    6) Because of the ways into and out of the area and due to moist ground, most of the digging is quite near to the footpath, but there is lots of room away from there that could be developed by a little clever digging and drainage.
    6) There’s a parking layby a few meters away from the spot – it makes it easy for people to bring digging gear and alcohol – definitely not all bikers. Fire pits have emerged over the last 3 years too.
    7) The litter is disgusting and is probably the number one thing that has enraged locals (including me)
    8) Josh is definitely the right person for the job

    I’m not local and have no idea about the area but it’s great to see someone like Josh Bryceland doing something positive like this. I hope his influence extends as over building of trails is an issue in many places (my local area has a lot of tension between different user groups due to this)

    I hope it all works out as a positive change 🙂

    I think it’s good to see someone like Josh Bryceland setting a positive example and hopefully getting the issues and challenges out to a wider audience. I thought the Ben Cathro film at the DMBinS Gathering was also a move in the right direction.

    I appreciate that Josh is stepping up to the plate. However, his tone is a bit off-putting/controlling. Who is “we”? Why isn’t there a meeting of all of “us”? Stopping self-initiated digging is about channeling that energy into the proper spot and time. People have always dug and, for a certain segment, they like digging/making more than riding. Taking control and telling everyone else to stop will just push the diggers to more remote places, digging lines that only a few can use. I hope that energy and skill is put to good (and diverse) use and is transferred through open community dig days and projects.

    Absolutely agree with Fahzure there. The only way to get buy-in from the public for projects like this is to persuade them it was their idea all along. Starting off telling everyone else this is my playground now, so bugger off & die probably isn’t going to work as well as Ratboy expects. IMHO 🙁

    I don’t think anyone locally has read it like that Fahzure and oceandweller. He isn’t saying stop riding. He’s just said keep away from the path and that particular dirt jump that crossed the path.
    Yes, he’s said ‘stop digging’, but that’s fair enough – there is soooooo much there already that you can’t really dig without destroying something needlessly. It’s what’s necessary.

    Would be interesting how many “illegal” trails he has built.
    He is going to find out how difficult it is to stop illegal trail building thats for sure

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