New Forest

Home Forum Chat Forum New Forest

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 48 total)
  • New Forest
  • thomthumb
    Member

    you must stick to them. the land is common land, ie privately owned.

    horses/ walkers have the right (might be permission) to roam.

    cyclists have to stick to bridleways (there are not many) & the gravelled tracks which are essentially permissive paths; not all gravelled paths are cycle paths.

    ground nesting birds argument is a commonly used one in the forest; fair point imo, however to say that horse riders/ walkers/ ponys & other commoners animals don’t disturb them is in my mind absurd.

    unfortunately the verderers have taken against cyclists; and they do not wish to have their minds changed.

    imo it is a shame that the cycle network is so rubbish; ie it’s not a network. imagine if there was a round forest off road loop, which joined the tracks that exist and was signed. at the moment you have two options the road; some of which are v busy, or going off road which is not allowed. 🙄

    EDIT: you can be fined for riding off route; up to £500 according to the map.

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    Thanks mate. I just get frustrated sticking to the paths which I do most of the time. Unfortunately if I spot a good little run, temptation gets the better of me.

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    So much area and variety of terrain, you could have some seriously good trails around (I’ve found plenty). The cycle network is rubbish, in the northern half especially.

    Muke
    Member

    Never mind it will soon be 18/19th August 2012 😉

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    I’m putting this up so that you can share anything about the New Forest. Here’s one example about whether you MUST or are ADVISED to stay to the recognised cycle paths.

    After following a nice piece of single track in between Fritham and Frogham, I started to catch up 4 horse riders out for a hack. As they were line abreast there was no way to pass so I decided to stop for a breather and create some distance between us. They had no idea I was there. Just then I spotted a guy 10m away. The following conversation happened;

    Me; Hello, cracking day?
    Guy; Yes. You do know you should be on a cycle path?
    M; I’m aware of the cycle paths but my ordnance survey map says they are advisory.
    G; Yes but people who actually CARE about the forest will stick to them……

    At this point I was about to rip his head off for being rude and arrogant when;

    G; …..But I don’t have a problem with cyclists in the forest. I think they are great for the economy of it and its great fun. Its just that during April and May there is ground nesting birds in this area.
    M; What about the line abreast riders up ahead who are not single file on the trail?
    G; Horses are natural.

    I then tutted, shook my head and cycled off on the track. I went straight to the nearest cycle path and stuck to it. Not because of him, but genuinely because of the birds.

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    Didn’t know it existed. Good plug.
    😀

    bigyinn
    Member

    I could be wrong, but I suspect even the most retarded of ground nesting birds wouldn’t set up shop in the middle of path / bridleway / track.
    You won’t win any arguments with these people, so just be discrete and keep the bike in a gear that you can accelerate in if necessary!

    29erKeith
    Member

    Ground nesting birds are only on the heathland and bogs. If your sensible and stick away from those then cheeky trails in the woods are “ok”. You’ll never win with a commoner though MTBers are the devil incarnate to most of them and reasoning is pointless.

    and in reality when I do go on to heathland I don’t bash across open heath I’m on a well used path, be it a foot path or pony trail. I too find it hard to understand how me passing a nest on a bike is going to disturb a bird any more than a pony, walker, or a horse and rider natural/wild/unnatural/other. During the more sensitive months stay clear though, there’s plenty of other stuff about.

    I’m sure none of us want to see the forest and it’s wildlife damaged

    enzee199
    Member

    I think the problem is that this type of incident is going to become more common in the New Forest.

    There has been a lot of sabre rattling in the local press recently

    As a sort of parallel a couple of decades ago people could camp anywhere in the forest, but after debates about damage to the forest people now are restricted to designated sites.

    I can see this happening with cycling. It seems to me that the issue is that no one bothered too much when it was a handful of enthusiasts cycling round the forest, but since numbers have grown there is more conflict.

    It would be sad if the outcome was that any of us wanting to cycle there are stuck on sanitised cycle trails, but there’s always the South Downs 30 mins away

    DT78
    Member

    ‘adventure playground’ what a load of bollox.

    People will ride offroad there, the best thing they could do is support a proper waymarked loop (not gravel fireroads something like Moores Valley or QE). That would improve tourism, contain the (majority) of riding to a section of the forest where it would minimalise impact.

    Southampton really really needs some decent legal trails within riding distance of the city. There are plenty of potential areas

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    “ground nesting birds” is no more reason to keep bikes away than walkers, horses or dogs and in fact probably less so – sure I’ve read that a bird’s time off the nest is related to the length of time something spends near to the locality, so a bike passing relatively quickly would see tyhe bird back down sooner

    main reason is joyless nimby snobs, vested interests and totally outdated local laws

    mav12
    Member

    has anyone encountered a verderer in the forest whilst not on a recognised path what powers do they have

    ciderinsport
    Member

    You must stick to the approved routes, till the big bike bash (held on private land)

    Buy tickets, turn up, or see me at mayhem (in a sumo suit!))

    If your down this wsy, drop me a mail, lots close by……..

    Muke
    Member

    Didn’t know it existed.

    Seriously or did you forget the 😉 ?

    29erKeith
    Member

    as said above dogs off of leads in the heathland areas is way more of a threat to the birds than we’ll ever be. btw I am a dog lover too as well as a mountain biker and a resident in the forest.

    I’ve encountered a forestry commission guy while in a group before
    He likened our activity to “dragging and anchor across the great barrier reef” we bit our tongues (nearly clean off 👿 ), stayed polite, altered our route while in sight and carried on using the well used by cheeky path 0.5K round the corner

    I’ve met a few snooty horse riders who’ve muttered away to themselves sometimes on actual cycle routes sometimes not. Same reaction either way, on the road too.

    Just last week passed a few local farmers who were out in the middle of the forest with an old tractor and trailer chopping up a couple of fallen trees (they must have commoning rights) they were surprisingly polite and just asked me to take care as I dipped under a bit of the tree. I was expecting an earful.

    the fines thing is possible but I very much doubt it’s ever happened or likely to. Still not worth going out of our way to wind people up

    I did a quick not very scientific study on the deaths and disruption to wildlife a year or so back. The idea was they wanted to ban MTBs from the NF and I wanted to proposed an evidence based approach.

    I can’t find the exact numbers so will make them up to demonstrate the approximate trend.

    Horse Deaths Due to cars : 89%
    Local 65%
    Tourists 24%

    Horse Deaths Due to other motorised traffic : 7%
    Local 6%
    Tourist 1%

    Horse Deaths not attributed (Found dead but no obvious cause): 4%

    From these figures the maximum amount that can be attributed to MTBs is 4% if every dead horse found that has not been hit by a car, motorbike or truck was hit by a MTB.

    The obvious Evidence based approach would to first ban all locals from driving cars in the New Forest, secondly ban all tourists from driving cars in the New Forest, then ban all trucks and motor bikes from the New Forest and then have a look at the cyclists.

    I did a similar thing with disturbances of birds. From most disruptive to least distruptive:

    Loose dogs
    Bird Watchers
    Walkers with Dogs
    Walkers
    Horses with Riders
    Cyclists
    Horse without riders

    I was surprised to see bird watches so high up the list but apparently the birds see them as stalking attackers because of their behaviour. Anyway, clearly ban all dogs from the New Forest, then bird watchers, then horse riders and then look at cyclists.

    I submitted the findings as a suggested approach to the verderers but never heard back.

    Premier Icon Mike_D
    Subscriber

    you can be fined for riding off route; up to £500 according to the map.

    AFAIK this has never happened.

    thomthumb
    Member

    i have never heard of it either. I think there might be difficulty in proving ‘the cyclist’ was in fact you.

    I don’t fully understand on what legal basis they can obtain your name and address, which must be needed to fine you?

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    I have past verderers before but usually over 100m away as they have been on the fire tracks. On those occasions, I’ve received nothing more than a tip of the hat. The ones I’ve “bumped” into seem to be realistic and recognise that MTB’ers dont actually cause that much damage and are respectful.

    Same goes for horseriders that I’ve encountered. I was expecting a telling off from one but turns out she agreed that the routes are restrictive and the temptation to go off-route was understandable.

    I will hold my hand up and admit I was wrong to be cycling where i was during the ground nesting season, but it was the birdwatchers attitude that really got to me.

    Its a great place for riding and it would be a shame to say the least, if they enforced the fines or god forbid, banned us.

    ciderinsport
    Member

    it would be a shame to say the least, if they enforced the fines or god forbid, banned us

    If they put a blanket ban in place would you take any notice of it?
    If they started fining you, would you feel compelled to stop and give your personal details? I doubt the police would be very interested!

    Me – no to both! Let anarchy rule 😆

    Premier Icon Mike_D
    Subscriber

    I don’t fully understand on what legal basis they can obtain your name and address, which must be needed to fine you?

    That would indeed be the problem they would face 🙂

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    We, as mountain bikers, need to understand how we appear.

    Walkers amble around. Horse riders mostly walk, only trotting or cantering in open ground.

    As mountain bikers, especially in woods or in downhill sections try and ride as fast as we can. Our whole culture, certainly as we present it on YouTube or Vimeo, is “alternative”. Whether that’s urban riding on street furniture or shredding the trails at high speeds, “hero dirt” and all that.

    I suspect it’s quite rare for a walker in the forest to get run down by a horse, how often may they have had to step aside as a mountain biker flies past ?

    Premier Icon FieldMarshall
    Subscriber

    As a new forest resident and MTBer, I see very little evidence of much “off-piste” riding, where I live.

    In fact I have only ever come across one other MTBer on my local trails in 8 years and he didn’t even say hello! 😥

    So I’m not sure its quite the epidemic that it is claimed to be.

    I have found that as long as you slow down and are courteous, most people are friendly back. Only had the one arsey horse rider in that time and that was on a legit bridleway.

    I did however, come across a large group camping illegally a couple of weeks ago. They had even someone managed to get their Saxo’s/Corsa’s over the ditch preventing access and driven well off piste. I wouldnt necessarily have a problem with this so long as they left no trace/caused no disturbance, but there was rubbish and broken bottles everywhere and they were verbally abusing most passers by, be they on foot or bike. (This was at 0730am by the way).

    Anyway I called in at the Agisters house on the way home, as I just happened to be passing, and mentioned this to him. And he was only too pleased to get them up all and send them packing. Thought I might get a ticking off, as I was taking a cheeky shortcut at the time. But he just thanked me for letting him know.

    29erKeith
    Member

    I don’t think it’s a big problem either and see very little evidence of MTBing about, although I know we’re out there.

    There are a vocal few who seem to have the ear of the media and insist on whipping it up every now and again. I can’t remember the exact quote but one from the Echo recently was painting a picture of cyclist in general (MTB and road) as silent assassins murdering horses & ramblers. utter nonsense!

    There are way way more Roadies about, certainly in the village I live in. We seem to be on a really popular roadie route. We get hundreds a week in groups of varying sizes past our place. no issues at all that I’ve seen and we’ve got loads of stables locally so lots of horse riders through the village too.

    Fingers crossed baby29er doesn’t arrive on his due date, it’s the same weekend as the BBB, the New Forest Rattler’s on so we’ve got 1000 riders due past our driveway. I’m sure we’d get out soon enough anyway fingers crossed. I think some notice for residents of these events would be helpful though. I only knew about it when a mate mentioned it to me. I know it won’t change anything but people might like to know

    xiphon
    Member

    When I lived in the NF (10 years in Brockenhurst – my folks still live there) I had numerous occasions of ‘volunteer rangers’ trying to catch me.

    Quite fun sprinting around the forest cheeky trails on a rigid ss!

    29erKieth – Good luck with the baby. If it comes early, under 12s are only a penny at the Big Bike Bash

    29erKeith
    Member

    Cheers WCA

    I’ve wanted to come for a few years it’s just clashed every year with the Three Peaks Yacht race and then this year with the obvious, maybe next year.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    main reason is joyless nimby snobs

    This is the main reason I plan never to return to the New Forest, with or without my bike.

    I’ve been a few times and have always been stunned at how unhappy and angry many of the locals seem.

    Can we just build a fence around it and keep them all in, perhaps with a letterbox so they can still get their Daily Mails?

    Premier Icon 40mpg
    Subscriber

    Cycling was banned entirley in the Forest circa 1988. It took a lot of effort to get the gravel track ‘network’ we know and love today. Only last month, a requested extension to this of 3km of (existing) track was rejected by the Verderers as ‘cycling in the Forest is not being managed’.

    NFA chairman Peter Frost described the proposals as “irresponsible”, saying cycling in the Forest was being promoted instead of managed.

    Part of the route passed through an area that had been designated as a tranquil area. I guess families out for a gentle pedal would be far to disruptive.

    There are established links between the Verders and the local press, so read another unbiased report here

    Out of interest, apparently they do have the power to seize your bicycle as wella s a fine for riding off-piste, however this has never been enforced. There are however regular fines levied against commoners for driving their 4×4’s where they shouldn’t.

    Premier Icon 40mpg
    Subscriber

    I’ve been a few times and have always been stunned at how unhappy and angry many of the locals seem.

    There’s quite a few locals on here, and we’re not always miserable! Its actually a great place to live and play, considering the amount of time I spend in the woods I very very rarely meet the miseries!

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    40mpg, thanks for the link to the echo. I think by looking at the comments at the bottom you can see what the problem is with the new forest. Uncompromising, selfish, arrogant stuck in their way ar@&holes who are scared of any progress or sign of fair play. By the looks of it the New Forest Association is full of the stereotypical old retired who have nothing better to do than freeze frame the forest in it’s current state. Coupled with the “it’s my forest” attitude we will have no chance of putting any reasonable case forward for extension to cycle routes or open access rights until the council “elders” move on due to old age and a younger more open minded type take the seats.

    29erKeith
    Member

    I and I’m sure others appreciate the efforts of 40mpg and the rest of the group(s) which try to fight our corner for access.

    but the articles and responses on the Echo’s site whenever anything about cycling comes up just makes me feel it’s pointless arguing or even trying with the Bigoted Nimbys! just keep quite there’ll be far less frothing.

    We know we do little damage compared to other groups who can merrily enjoy the forest. So lets just try to be discrete and carry on enjoying it.

    fingers crossed it changes one day and people who’re actually willing to look forward and listen to balanced evidence will one day have their say. It’ll take a while though I’m sure.

    Premier Icon Mike_D
    Subscriber

    There’s definitely conflict between the National Park/Forestry Commission and the verderers/NFA.

    they do have the power to seize your bicycle as wella s a fine for riding off-piste

    Source? (Not doubting you, but would be interested to see first-hand info — AIUI no-one other than the police has any power to do anything at all).

    DT78
    Member

    I had heard they could seize bikes too. Tbh if they tried that wouldn’t be likely to end well

    lucien
    Member

    40mpg wrote:

    There are established links between the Verders and the local press, so read another unbiased report here

    I’ve read the report and this item stands out: –

    “The Bolderwood Ornamental Drive to the Portuguese Fireplace route has a significant length of grass and dirt track. The court was adamant that no surfacing of grass/dirt tracks should be permitted.”

    To which my response would be that I would agree the the Verderer’s “Court” on this occassion as it would ruin an otherwise excellent piece of singletrack!!

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    I agree. Portugese fire place to Ornamental drive is fine the way it is. 😉

    I ride the Forest regularly and have come to regard the present situation as about as good as it is likely to get. The Forest is large enough that a low level of cheekyness by those who know where they’re going is generally ignored bar the odd grumble. But the best bits are natural trails and not built to ‘trail centre’ standards, hence they would be very quickly eroded if the traffic over them increased significantly.

    A good example is one bit of trail locally which used to involve a tight little wiggle round some bushes to line yourself up for a plank over a ditch. It was very satisfying to get it right. Since it got discovered by more of the local kids it’s become as open as a motorway.

    Also, during the summer months the majority of riders in the Forest are family types and having them all clogging up the singletrack if it were made legitimate would be awfully frustrating.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    A good example is one bit of trail locally which used to involve a tight little wiggle round some bushes to line yourself up for a plank over a ditch. It was very satisfying to get it right

    If that’s next to a well-known fence, … 🙁

    (haven’t been there for 6 months or so)

    ciderinsport
    Member

    by those who know where they’re going

    Counts you out then MB 😉

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 48 total)

The topic ‘New Forest’ is closed to new replies.