Viewing 25 posts - 81 through 105 (of 105 total)
  • New Forest just escapes all-out ban on cycling
  • Premier Icon burko73
    Full Member

    Milford vet – let me know where you’re talking about as there will be a rational explanation for what you see. FE has a very thoroughly consulted upon Forest design plan that we’re judged on and is scrutinised by any n7mber of stakeholders. Sometimes what looks like a mess in the woods and forests and just wouldn’t be acceptable in a Park or garden is either temporary, a stage in the mgt cycle or beneficial in some way. It may look a mess to the untrained eye, I see some harvesting sites that irritate me on my rides about as well.

    I’d be all up for Scottish style access legislation in England if it would work uncontrolled acccess isn’t the answer, responsible access is. There’s too many people here who really don’t care about the environment for that.

    As to the verderers powers. Most of their power is to control grazing although they do have powers to regard the aesthetics of the forest and to prevent inappropriate development of the forest. In the 80’s the FC tried to push them on what their powers really could stop. At the time we were building car parks and campsites etc. The stand off got to a point where it needed I guess the equivalent of a judicial review but it was deemed not to be in the public interest to do this and both sides agreed a compromise in a memorandum of understanding where we agree what we tell them we’re doing, what we need to formally ask permission for etc. They have stopped things like digging the forest up to drill for oil etc and managed to get power lines buried and some good stuff. Their make up is interesting though as it reflects their primary role of manag8ng commoning. There are 5 appointed Verderers’s though as well, appointed by the county, national park, FE, natural England and I think the district council so it’s not all jobs for the commoners.

    Premier Icon milfordvet
    Free Member

    What happens in your head or in public statements of intent in your office is not what happens on the ground.

    The teams go in, log the trees, leave massive rutts you have to climb over (think WW1 at Flanders) the ground excoriated – nothing left just acres of wet mud and then just leave it to fern over. There’s no replanting, no rough relevelling back to how it was (poor deer) no tidying of the foot path that was there. A total mess – it’s not done with care. Thats the reality.

    The transition from non native softwood plantantion to native deciduous hardwood species might eventually occur given another 20-50 years naturally but it’s not proactive. Replacing a hillside of mature redwoods with a sea of equally useless low fern is barely improving biodiversity. Eventualy it will be no thanks to FE ‘mananagement’. It’s shamefull. This is in the enclosure just north of the Canadian monument in full view of the main (cycle) paths on both sides.

    Is there a proactive native species tree planting department in the New Forest? I have never once in 30 years seen active replanting of at least some deciduous native trees after logging an area here with very heavy plant.

    Premier Icon gowerboy
    Full Member

    burko73 Good luck. I get the difficulty. In Swansea we have a campaign set up by a load of loons to stop the council slightly improving a bridleway for cyclist in a periurban country park. They say it will do all kinds of harm (even though much of it crosses a disused landfill of no special ecological sensitivity in a kind of no-mans-land) and are willing to put loads of effort in or even lie about stuff to get it stopped. So trying to get change in somewhere like the NF will be a slow and difficult process.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    The teams go in, log the trees, leave massive rutts you have to climb over (think WW1 at Flanders) the ground excoriated – nothing left just acres of wet mud and then just leave it to fern over.

    I think this is often seen as the best way from an ecological point of view as you get natural regeneration if there are native trees nearby rather than managed plantations. But also that this is a debated point. same as leaving the brash from felling on the ground. Looks a mess now but in 50 years will give the best results.

    Premier Icon burko73
    Full Member

    Broadly three reasons trees get felled here

    1. Restoring native habitat, no planting is done but brash is dealt with and site levelled, often old plough lines are removed by a digger. Aim is to restore to heathland.

    2. Trees are thinned out to give other trees room to grow. No planting (mostly) at this stage but natural regeneration is often encouraged by managing thinning regime etc.

    3. Trees are clear felled and replanted. Sometimes due to seasons, other mgt requirements it may take a couple of yrs until trees are replanted. We don’t tend to clear trees and “hope” some more trees come up. If we’ve replanted with broad leaves you’d hardly notice them as the tend to be small trees that are approx 30cm tall when they’re planted. Oh, and being deciduous they won’t have leaves in the winter so just look like brash.

    We are independently audited on this stuff. It’s not in my head etc. We’ve nothing to hide. The Forest isn’t a park though and isn’t manicured as such. I agree with you re ruts. That’s not helpful and we do try to reduce the likelihood by timing of operations but it’s not always possible. We do make repairs but sometimes you need the weather to dry up so you don’t do more damage.

    I’d be quite happy to come on a ride with you sometime Milfordvet. It’s always easier to chat this stuff through.

    If you’re a vet as your username suggests I’m sure you get customers questioning your practice and thinking you charge too much etc. They don’t see everything you have to do behind the scenes to meet compliance etc. Ping me a Dm and when we’re allowed id be happy to go for a ride. Cheers.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    There must be similar local community groups in scotland I’m sure. They have statutory duties under the various new forest acts.

    There really aren’t. Community groups can and do get input but that’s only at the invitation of the land owner with no legal requirement to listen to them.

    I’d be all up for Scottish style access legislation in England if it would work uncontrolled acccess isn’t the answer, responsible access is. There’s too many people here who really don’t care about the environment for that.

    Same up here hence the bylaws around Loch Lomond. But we didn’t throw the baby out with the bath water and everywhere else has the same access rights.

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Full Member

    To be fair, forestry clearing is a messy business and burko has already put it so much better than I. You may not see any apparent activity for several years and think nothing is happening. Allowing brash and the remaining wood to rot down is a key element of improving biodiversity. It may not look aesthetically appealing but it is a key part of silviculture.

    There is so much more to forestry than just plant and fell. As mountain bikers, we tend to have a very narrow world view on what we perceive as good and what isn’t. I know I would love the woodland I ride in never to change but that would be entirely unrealistic.

    Certainly in Scotland on the national forest estate, every single person whom I met in the industry was passionate about their work and balancing the economic, social and environmental benefits. As burko says, we have less people and more land up here which coupled with our enlightened access laws makes for a pretty good position to find ourselves in. Personally, I would like to see England and Wales being given the opportunity and the resourcing to reforest as we do up here. It would benefit everyone both now and in the future. It is such an obvious “good thing” to do but the political will is sorely lacking.

    Premier Icon milfordvet
    Free Member

    I accept that the New Forest is a in large part a ‘working forest’ and there will be a churn in how things look.

    I understand FE are taking diggers and logging equipment into sensitive areas and leaving entire hillsides stripped and then left to natural regeneration. Probably a 50 year process.

    Why then do I have to listen to the Verderers that MTB’s should be banned because of a few tyre tracks. It’s completely at odds with what’s going on with FE and the sheer scale of large gravel paths needed for that access.

    Their argument is not reasonable. By making it, they make themselves justifiable targets of ridicule. Why should I have to accept riding around the south New Forest under a cloud of guilt.

    I found myself in a Welsh trail centre last year for the first time. Kids enjoying bikes, learning, older guys out riding, shop selling bits…it felt like a mini ski resort. Same vibe. Compared to ‘head down, don’t stop, be prepared for abuse and get your argument in first’ attitude we have to take in the New Forest just to get some exercise, frankly I could have cried with the difference in approach.

    Locals generally know the nuts of it and just ride (with a low profile). But others really think it’s the law. In the first lockdown, I was out enjoying the forest and I pass a runner on a car wide gravel track linking legal cycle paths I use for a loop. This a footpath he says. I ignore him. You can’t ride on this. I ignore again. Stop this is a footpath again. So I stop, reiled for an argument and give him both barrels. There we were he a doctor, I a veterinary surgeon stressed with running our respective practices through Covid, atop a Forest hillside disturbing the peace with our mutual verbally offensive language. Thats the occasional reality of biking here. Without a better long tern resolution it’s actually a source of conflict at times.

    Premier Icon plyphon
    Free Member

    Grew up on the edge of the NF in Totton – rode MTB for 5 years or so through the forest just exploring trying to find trails where I could.

    Got moaned at once, didn’t pay it any attention. Was by a typical Hunter wellies and Land Rover Discovery despite being a 20 degree day in Spring type.

    Its pretty shite for riding. Good for distance. Not really any trails.

    I moved not so long ago and now have access to Epping Forest where there is a completely different attitude – it’s great to see bikes everywhere!

    Premier Icon curto80
    Free Member

    @plyphon Hounsdown or Testwood?

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    Its pretty shite for riding. Good for distance. Not really any trails.

    It’s great for riding, just not for riding an MTB.
    Get into the habit of riding early in the morning and chances of conflict are very low. It is the people driving around everywhere at 45mph that I see as the problem.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Full Member

    gowerboy
    Free Member
    burko73 Good luck. I get the difficulty. In Swansea we have a campaign set up by a load of loons to stop the council slightly improving a bridleway for cyclist in a periurban country park. They say it will do all kinds of harm (even though much of it crosses a disused landfill of no special ecological sensitivity in a kind of no-mans-land) and are willing to put loads of effort in or even lie about stuff to get it stopped. So trying to get change in somewhere like the NF will be a slow and difficult process.

    😀 I was thinking about that as I was reading this thread! It’s worth adding that all of the local conflict in Clyne has happened since lockdown, and is almost entirely conducted via social media. (Although, one of the guys doing some maintenance on Sanitised a few days ago was roundly abused by a walker about the MTBers. On an official MTB trail!) The BW you are referring to has got progressively more boggy and overgrown in the years I’ve been riding it. I would rarely ever see anyone on the Olchfa/Killay end of it, until after lockdown started and it became overrun with people, few of whom seem to have any ability to be outdoors and lots of ability to be outraged on their phones. Anyway, this is OT. Are you on the Clyne Riders FB group?

    Premier Icon simian
    Full Member

    @plyphon Hounsdown or Testwood?

    FIIIIIIGHT!!!

    (Testwood for me!)

    Premier Icon curto80
    Free Member

    @simian Blazer Boy

    Premier Icon chipsngravy
    Free Member

    The New Forest is an odd place, inhabited by some odd people. IMO it’s all a bit meh.

    Take one look at the local MP. He sums up the place and the people.

    Not being able to cycle there is no biggy. That and the Alabama Rot, there is little reason to visit. Let the locals shoot themselves in the foot and damage what’s left of the local tourism business.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Full Member

    I’m interested (and I do know it’s an issue) – might alabama rot in a human cause an abnormally ruddy complexion and tendency to irrational outbursts ?

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    Not being able to cycle there is no biggy.

    It is if you live there! Especially if you enjoy road and gravel cycling.

    As for Alabama rot, just keep the dogs away from the water. Agree with you about Swayne though, an absolute **** even by Tory standards.

    Premier Icon curto80
    Free Member

    The thing about Swayne is it’s arguable whether he is the worst MP in the NF. Julian Lewis (New Forest East) runs him close. Although he did redeem himself a bit with that Russia election interference report business.

    Premier Icon big_n_daft
    Free Member

    There we were he a doctor, I a veterinary surgeon stressed with running our respective practices through Covid, atop a Forest hillside disturbing the peace with our mutual verbally offensive language. Thats the occasional reality of biking here. Without a better long tern resolution it’s actually a source of conflict at times.

    Tell him he should be grateful you aren’t a group of 10 on MX bikes, that’s what’s running around my area, if he thinks a solitary cyclist is an affront he is leading a sheltered life

    Premier Icon simian
    Full Member

    I’m actually wondering if an all out ban is the way forward TBH. I’d LOVE to see anyone try and enforce it, followed by the backlash as 1000s of locals are told their kids can’t ride their balance bikes on the forest any more. I’d wager only 10% of cyclists in the forest are what we’d describe as ‘cyclists’ and the other 90% are family groups.

    I’m in the south of the forest every night either cycling or walking the dog. Cyclists are not a problem in the forest, either socially or ecologically.

    Premier Icon burko73
    Full Member

    Simian and Milfordvet – You’re both right. Its about separating out the noise, putting things into context, listening and understanding each other. Its hard work being moaned at for something that’s not really an issue if you look at it in context. I feel your pain. Hopefully we can get some sensible fact based dialogue going. I for one believe that there is progress to be made this time.

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    I’m in the south of the forest every night either cycling or walking the dog. Cyclists are not a problem in the forest, either socially or ecologically.

    And I am there a lot of mornings and they are not a problem then either. There are quite a lot of people cycling (especially on Saturday and Sunday) but 99% of them are road riders and the when I do see cyclists off road they all tend to be on the gravel roads and a lot of them are families or people who have hired a bike for an hour or two.

    This is not a problem and people need to stop moaning about it and working on solutions for it and find something more worthwhile to do.

    Premier Icon n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    Even though the New Forest is relatively close to me, it’s not somewhere I ride much at all (maybe two rides in the last ~4 years), but then I love the hills between Owlesbury and South Harting plus getting to NF is a bit of a ball ache from east Southampton (unpleasant major roads on direct route).

    But I can understand why many flock there frequently. Living in a honeypot location comes with having lots of bees visiting daily and these bees must be ordinarily outside Covid be spending lots of pennies in the local shops. The tourists increase the diversity and sustainability of shops, making life more pleasant and convenient for the NIMBYs.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    this needs a Kinder scout style protest

    When one side behaves so badly its impossible to engage constructively. By doing so you are legitmising their nonsense and playing the game by their rules. Eff ’em.

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Full Member

    A lot of racist people even though 99.9% of people are white

    Is this unusual? It’s the most common and most pernicious type of racism surely? If you’re stuck in an inner city, struggling to make a decent living or find somewhere to live, I can start to understand looking around for someone to blame – someone different to you…..maybe. But in privileged white rural areas? Ignorance and bigotry, often teamed with influence and power.

    The GPS thing – strata heat maps, trail forks etc, have a lot to answer for.

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