building Trails after tree thinning has trashed everything

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  • building Trails after tree thinning has trashed everything
  • The FC have been up Lordswood and have destryed the Workamns run and the whole of that hillside. It is now 2 foot deep in tree litter. Their woods, their right.

    Do we*:

    a) clear and reinstate the original runs
    b) use this as an opportunity to develop a whole load of new runs
    c) sit back and wait for some sunshine hoping someone else will do it
    d) abandon that part of the woods

    *Stuck in a conference call at the moment staring longingly out the window


    Their woods, their right.

    isn’t this simplistic ? Who does the FC belong to ? How did they come into control of the land ? Was it previously common land ? etc etc

    Yeah, whatever.

    The trails are trashed a,b,c or d


    A & B.

    We’ve fixed up and improved a few trails that have been wrecked by thinning / storm damage. Even if the old trails are under there somewhere there will be tractor ruts and so on. Maybe make some wood features if there any logs left.


    Were the trails built by or on behalf of the FC? If they were, then surely it’s their responsibilty to re-instate them. There’s forestry works going on on land with trails round us that were a community and FC collaboration, and they have committed to rebuilding them. If they are ‘guerrila’ trails then crack on with new ones if the old ones weren’t up to scratch, reinstating the old ones if they were good, or a mix of both for consistency and a refreshing change!!!


    I second A&B having had similar in our local woods over last few years. Being unable to unearth bits of old line will make you rethink and put in new bits. And plenty of wood lying about for building up of lumpy bits.

    Slightly cheesy christmas cracker level understanding of far eastern wisdom: there is no such thing as a problem, only opportunities.

    The Beard

    This happened to a load of our favourite local trails back home. We ended up using it as an opportunity to find some new lines and now have one hell of a trail that drops near vertically down a forwarder trail over some decent drops.

    Every cloud has a silver lining! 🙂


    If you can get one of these made they are fannytastic.


    What Beardy said.

    Think about everything that was wrong with the original line, and build a new line with the best bits of the old and the new improved bits. If it was perfect then rebuild it.

    But for heaven’s sake please do it with less squabbling than the girls at Rogate!

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Round our way the FC came along and scooped up the 2ft of branches etc after a good few weeks, probably took it away for pulp or something.

    Premier Icon dropoff

    A, and I have a chain saw for sale if youre interested – oh actually on second thoughts forget the chainsaw 😆

    i like chainsaws – what’s the spec?

    Premier Icon Phil_H

    A & B

    Scruff, Any idea where you can get a mcleod tool in the UK?


    Phil they were made for our local official trailbuilders by someone with some steel plate, a few may have been ‘liberated’.

    I’ll ask a man wot might know.


    WCA – step away from the chainsaw!


    I may have the opportunity tio become a source for said Mcleods. Email me for more details. I’ll be able to advise when they might be coming available (


    simonfbarnes – Member wrote:

    “Their woods, their right.”
    isn’t this simplistic?

    Partly. They have a right to ensure it is managed for public benefit.

    Who does the FC belong to?

    The government. Funded by the tax payer and the income derived from managing the Estate.

    How did they come into control of the land?

    Compulsory purchase most likely, either bare land or existing woodland.

    Was it previously common land?

    Not necessarily.

    etc etc

    What’s your point exactly?

    WCA – go for A&B. They won’t be back for another thinning for at least five years, so make the most of it 🙂


    There’s forestry works going on on land with trails round us that were a community and FC collaboration, and they have committed to rebuilding them.
    good luck with that. make sure you get that undertaking in writing.


    Its the contractors who may actually eff/not eff the trails up. Our local official trails have to be reinstated after forestry works, but the contractors dont know what is official and what isnt- so some cheeky trails were left Ok after works a few years ago, they’ve wised up now though 🙁


    Get digging.

    Premier Icon Phil_H

    Scruff, Thanks.

    st, ygm

    Premier Icon DezB

    IanB, WCA gave the correct response already 🙂


    Has anyone spoken to FC on this? Similar happened at Pitmedden in Fife, FC were amazed at the backlash of complaints from forest users and set up user groups etc, meanwhile some local guys just went ahead and re-instated the trails and some new ones, soon came back to life but depressing when it happens, so A & B


    Hey WCA,

    It’s no exaggeration to say that the Lordswood trails have helped keep me sane whilst I’ve been in exile from Bristol. As I’ve benefited from ’em, I’d be more than happy to help out with any re-building. I don’t know the name of the trail, but I was pretty gutted to see that the run thru the lower woods (with the two log ramps and the skinny over the ditch) had gone! That was a big chunk of my regular loop! Still, commercial woods and all that…

    Give us a shout if you are planning anything.



    I guess the answer re whether we should re-build it depends on how accessible the area is to MX riders since the diggers have been in. The main reason that I’ve put so much time and effort into building the track over the years is because I knew that accessibility issues meant that MX bikes wouldn’t ride there.

    How open is the site and more importantly what is the access like at the bottom?

    If it’s still a mucky, steep entry then I say go with the similar line to the original. Best bits include, 90 degree dug in berms, step down into small transfer jump, jumps at bottom.

    I don’t like the sound of wood. It attracts less than favourable attention of the FC, and simply doesn’t ride as well as good old dirt.
    Jumps shouldn’t be made using logs either. It reduces the ‘tweaking’ options.

    I’m happy to take the lead on the build.


    B- lets make some new trails.

    lets organise a trail building day, beer and BBQ. obviously low key as we’re not supposed to be in there!

    [pedant mode] it’s privatley owned land, FC leased. So they are free to trash it and the trails are not so authorised as some [/pedant mode]

    Stu – interested if you get a source for McLeods, will email you.

    Brash stays green for a while (depending on tree type) and then browns / looses bulk and is much easier to handle. I’d give it a while (if you have that luxury). At Stainburn FE came back in and mounded a lot of it up then set slow burning pyres to get rid. Sort of succesful.

    Ground underneath is often trashed and more importantly the drainage is usually knackered. Water will route down vehicle tracks and just generally does what water does. Worth carefully looking at to decide whether to reclaim or relocate.

    I’d take the opportunity to do both and make the most of the land now that you have to do lots of work to recover trails, rather than following the pre-existing lines (unless they were already the best).

    Scruff – the prob with that Macleod is the bolt on the bottom. It’ll either come loose, get spanged up ot make tamping / shaping harder with that lump in the centre of the plate. McLeods are good but my two favourite tools are proably Chillington Style hoes (or azadas – and long handled (fibre glass) shovels (swan necks / bull nose)

    A McLeod will be pretty poor for clearing the brash itself (although I suspect you meant for digging the trail beneath once brash cleared). Brashing hooks (especially long handled ones) are better but TBH it’s just a PITA job. Plus sharp tools = less fingers, sooner or later 😉

    Common or garden pruning saws are excellent for getting through green wood fast. Chainsaws on FE land, without the proper tickets, are a one way trip to falling out with the Forest Manager IME.

    We’ve got the same sort of job ahead of us at Norwood / Stainburn. We’ve improved the line that we will “reclaim” to make the most of the opportunity. It’s not hard and fast though, different sites, levels of disturbance, etc etc mean the solution is likely to be unique to you. Not least will be the number of volunteers / their productivity.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    A & B

    The FC are currently in the middle of extensive deforestation and gravelling round our way too. It is as if somebody has done a risk assessment and deemed trees to be dangerous.

    I’m going to go with option C myself.


    I did a and b on the quantocks, very satisfying having riders enjoying your hard labour, thoughit can take up a lot of riding time, i did it when a tore my knee apart,i just had to do something bike related…


    Well you can’t undo it so make the most of it. Here in the FoD there is plenty of cutting going on and it has created new opportunities. there will be lots of deep ruts to use for jumps and raw materials as well as the off cuts.
    Only problem will be that in a year or so the land will probably be scarified and replanted. So what new trails ae better than old and the bsic lie of the land won’t change. Treat this as a bonus.

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