Pirbright Area – Danger Zones

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  • Pirbright Area – Danger Zones
  • brakes
    Member

    What are the designated Danger Areas around Pirbright?
    Should these be avoided at all times? Or only when there are signs out saying not to enter?

    Is there any riding in the Danger Zones worth checking out?

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Is there any riding in the Danger Zones worth checking out?

    There might be the odd bit here and there, but most of the local trails are outside those areas, for obvious reasons……
    🙂

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    the danger areas are ‘colony gate’ and Ash Ranges.

    http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=491500&y=158500&z=120&sv=colony+gate&st=3&tl=Map+of+Colony+Gate,+Surrey+&searchp=ids.srf&mapp=map.srf

    Colony Gate (bang in the middle of the linked map) is properly fenced off and cannot be entered (unless you can bunny hop 8 feet) In any case, don’t.

    Ash ranges (to the south of the map) is open access although is often closed off by very visible red flags when live firing is taking place. There is stuff in there, and even the perimeter road is a good fitness bimble but again, when red flag is up, don’t think about it.

    The rest of the military areas, usually marked at main entrances with a white signboard with all the necessary bylaws written on them are fair game. they are active exercise areas, and often have troops practicing on them, in which case I consider it courteous to stay out of their way rather than exit the area completely. Use discretion, if you encroach on fitness training runs / carrying stretchers, etc. that is less likely to cause problems than riding straight through a dug in position or an ambush!! It has been done, and the rider in question fair shat himself when the world lit up as he rode through a tripflare! Needless to say, don’t touch anything you find on there.

    There is plenty on the exercise areas, less in the danger areas, for obvious reasons. A few groups ride / tailbuild on there, so take one of the likely looking side paths off the main tracks and see where it leads you!

    andywhit
    Member

    The Pirbright danger area bits are Ash Ranges which is my local stomping ground. No access when the red flags are flying as it’s a live firing range, flags normally come down at around 3pm each day (although they sometimes remain closed overnight). There is some good stuff in there and we hope to feature some of it in the Gorrick race which is being held at Ash Ranges on 19th April Gorrick calendar clicky

    brakes
    Member

    thanks for the info
    might be heading up there this weekend for a bimble

    will take a few smoke grenades, just in case

    andywhit
    Member

    You might find the ranges shut at the w/e, could always explore Tunnel Hill though which is just over the Mytchett/Pirbright road as Tunnel Hill is always open. And if the ranges are open then bonus!

    Ewan
    Member

    Tunnel hill etc is better if you want singletrack – although there is a bit in the red flag area.

    Incidently, anyone else find it annoying that he biggest bit of the ranges is completely fenced off. Due to unexploded rounds etc, but since they put them there, shouldn’t they remove them…. looks like lots of potential from google maps.

    brakes
    Member

    can you post a streetmap link to Tunnel Hill?

    Ta

    andywhit
    Member

    Hmmm, hardly any of the ranges is fenced off in my experience 🙂 Although fencing has recently been installed to keep cattle* away from the firing ranges.

    And….Tunnel Hill link

    * recently introduced to keep the area as heathland

    jedi
    Member

    i used to frequient the area a couple of years back 🙂

    Jason
    Member

    The red circle is in the middle of Tunnel Hill

    http://www.multimap.com/s/DpEYkPCK

    There are a lot of trails there, most are fairly hidden, but if you follow the fireroads for a bit you will probably see some tyre marks going into the trees.

    brakes
    Member

    magic, cheers lads – I’ll check it out

    Jason
    Member

    Andy, you are 20m off 🙂

    The fenced off bit of the range is the one by Colony Gate. We did try to get access into there a while back, but the man who can normally sort out access onto Army land failed – something about it being to dangerous. However we let him off as he is organising http://www.areyoutoughenough.co.uk

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Jedi, did you build that HUGE section of shore that’s up there? Made from pallets and old front doors….. Big gap jump qualifier?

    andywhit
    Member

    I don’t think that was Jedi.

    Jason – ah, I see where you mean, I was thinking Ewan was talking about Ash Ranges.

    jedi
    Member

    nah.theres a square lashed birch construction up there near one of the fire breaks but its rotten

    Incidently, anyone else find it annoying that he biggest bit of the ranges is completely fenced off. Due to unexploded rounds etc, but since they put them there, shouldn’t they remove them

    Hmm, counter argument being that this stuff has been there a LONG time, they don’t know where it all is, and it may well be unstable – so is it worth someone getting killed trying to remove it for the sake of a few mountain bikers having their fun?

    Ewan
    Member

    Zulu – totally see where you’re coming from, but at the same time, the army is in stewardship of the land. They’ll have to clear it eventually and explosive gets more dangerous as it ages… They made the mess, they should clear it up.

    The bit that you can’t get in.

    That bit is as large as the red flag area and has more hills….. Surrounded by 10ft barbed wire fence.

    Jason’s right on the tyre tracks. Just follow them and you’ll find stuff. Muddy at the moment tho.

    Stewardship indeed, but remember that most of this stuff was put there in WW1 & 2 – plus there’s little chance of it being handed back to the public anytime this side of the next century, so the point about clearing it eventually when its in 7 day a week use is pretty null.

    I’m fairly confident that the local wildlife are pretty happy with the status quo (no disturbance, no pesticides, no ploughing etc)- its simply not worth the life of a single person to try and clear it, and the fact so much of it is bog means that it would probably be impossible to ever certify it 100% safe.

    andywhit
    Member

    It’s not as if there isn’t shed loads of other decent riding in the imminent vicinity 🙂 I can live with that range being permanently off limits.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    I’m not even sure how good the riding would be. Many’s the time I’ve come up the fireroad from the car depot place towards the actual Colony Gate and gazed over to the glimmering metropolis that is Woking and wondered what’s in there, but apart from a few runs just off that ridge, I suspect the rest would just be too wet to be any fun.

    You can pretty well do a circuit of the fence with a bit of creativity; top part and the ‘fenceline’ are regularly riden as is the long drag up parallel to Red Road. The rest is a bit along the canal, cut through past the firing points of Bisley Ranges and over to the prison and then follow your nose – keeping left where there is an option and you keep running into the fence which keeps you honest. But the SE corner in particular is very wet, and I suspect would be the same inside, with those streams and the telltale ‘Colony Bog’ name!

    Surfr
    Member

    Just a note to say that weekends are likely to be just as off limits as weekdays as when I was a cadet we spent many a weekend at Pirbright on the 300 and 500 yard targets.

    Ewan
    Member

    Well, from a stewardship point of view I think they have an obligation to clear it. But I see where you’re coming from, and pragmatically you’re right about it not be unused any time soon.

    As you say, lots of other riding around – I just don’t like fences!

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