A rider in the Lake District is seeking to have a footpath often used as part of the Borrowdale Bash route re-designated as a bridleway. If you’ve ever ridden there, you can help.
Updated Wednesday 27th April:
Thanks to everyone who sent local rider Rich Gale supporting evidence to show years of bike use of this Lake District trail, after ‘no cycling’ signs were posted by the National Trust landowner. He’s now submitted the application for it to be classified as a bridleway, so it’s now time for you to keep your support going.
The application is with the Lake District National Park Authority now. If you filled in an evidence form they will be contacting you to ask you to confirm your route. Please respond to them or it will invalidate your evidence.
I’m pleased to say that the National Trust seem on board with this and they have said they will not be putting the signs back up.The next step in the application is the rights of way committee, who decide whether to approve the order, if so it will be advertised and there will be period where people can put in valid objections in.Rich Gale
Don’t ignore any messages you get from the Park Authority! It’ll be interesting to see how this works out.
Updated Friday 18th February to include a statement from the National Trust.
Depending on which route map you follow, the Borrowdale Bash may take you along an unpleasantly busy section of road south of Keswick. Alternatively, it may take you along a footpath over Walla Crag – far more pleasant, if not strictly allowed. However, until now the landowner – National Trust – has not objected to people riding this way and avoiding the traffic on road.
That’s all changed now. Apparently due to complaints from walkers ‘no cycling’ signs have been posted on the access to the trail, thereby removing any implication that the unofficial use of the route is tolerated.
National Trust Statement on Walla Crag route
We received the following statement from the National Trust, on Friday 18 February:
‘Due to an increase in complaints from footpath users, we have installed the signs at Walla Crag as a precautionary safety measure. We want everyone to enjoy the countryside in the Lake District and have a network of bridleways and tracks in the region that both cyclists and walkers alike are encouraged to use.’
The signs have prompted local rider, Rich Gale, to start a campaign to evidence the unopposed use of the trail by bikes for the last 20 years, and by doing so to have it re-designated as a bridleway.
The National Trust has recently (December) put no cycling signs on Walla Crag, due to complaints from walkers. This has been used as the unofficial start to the Borrowdale bash since the 90s with out problem and until now the land owner has not challenged this.Rich Gale
If there’s a no cycling sign any implied access is now gone as the landowner is specifically asking you not to cycle on their land (removing the sign doesn’t help!).
I would like your help to go through the process of having the definitive map changed to make this route a bridleway, this requires us to prove that there has been 20 years of unopposed use.
There is plenty of evidence since the advent of Strava of the route’s use, but it’s harder to show the route being used 20 years ago. If you have photographs or some other record from the 1990s or early 2000s, this information would be especially useful. And maybe you know someone who rode it then, who might be able to support the claim?
Rich asks that you:
- Fill in the evidence form link and submit your own claim for this access route, or
- Email him your photos or other evidence that you rode the route in the 90s or early 2000s so he can compile the evidence in support of the claim form he will be submitting.
- Tell any friends who might have ridden it in the 90’s or early 2000s about this campagin.
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