- Trail closures at Woburn from July 1st
Apparently the rumours are true and the dozers will be at Woburn to flatten the trails from the 1st July. This was confirmed by several riders i talked to there yesterday and the plan is to shut all the X-country trails as well as the new Duke of Bedford has had enough of us MTB scum who dare to enjoy themselves in his woods. if this goes ahead it will be a great shame and no doubt end up with many "cheeky trailers" riding whats left of the trails.Posted 9 years ago
Ok i admit that i am not in charge of all the facts here and the area has become very busy in the last couple of years so some kind of management is needed to maintain order but as far as i know there has been no consultation with users of the area so no chance for anyone to try and find a solution to suit all parties. I for one hope that this is just scare mongering and just the owners way of saying stop building trails on my land or else, otherwise it's a fair trek for me and others from the area to find ridable trails!
I wondered this but it was some time ago now and in a different area from the trails but being a sceptic I feel there may be an agenda at work here! I mean in reality the bikers are growing in numbers but i have never heard of any major clashes with other users of the woods…well maybe the horse riders and there might be the problem!Posted 9 years agoNobbySubscriber
Didn't they say this would happen a few years back when they pullled down all the 'shore stuff & big jumps? IIRC it was a case of "stop building this stuff & you can carry on riding the natural trails – build it again & we'll ban cycling altogether".
I'd heard that a load of stuff had gone up again since they started charging over at Chicksands – if that's the case then I'm not surprised the estate owners are unhappy.Posted 9 years agotimmysSubscriber
Really, really hope this turns out to be false. I can't say I've been riding Woburn that long, but it the place I go to most often nowadays. I've never had any type of negative vibes from walkers or horse riders I've met. The majority of the manmade singletrack is slightly tucked away so I doubt there is many problems with cyclists blasting past people on foot and I wouldn't say it's an eyesore at all.
It's interesting to hear that the area is considered to be very busy. Even though you see plenty of bike racks in the car park, I'm always surprised how few people I actually see when I'm out riding for a couple of hours. I'd call the cyclists pretty unobtrusive to be honest. The exception to the unobtrusive point (and eyesore point) is obviously the activities in the jump area, and I do have some sympathy with other users of the area in that respect, as even I find vibes from the stormtroopers less than welcoming at times.
The other problem is that if the trails were shut then other "local" riding spots that people tend to head to from London; namely the Surrey Hills and Swinley – both areas that I would say definitely have more issues with the numbers of bikers using them – would see increased traffic. And then how long before access to one or both of them is called into question as well…Posted 9 years ago
I can state that it has definately become far more used in the last few years and a fair number of new singletrack trails have sprung up aside from the jumps area which has seen massive amounts of work done so it was always going to be an issue to someone but as the cyclists will still ride the area regardless of the few obstacles put in their path, plus some of it is publis access so i cant see why some form of trail manaement cant be applied….look at Cannock and other centres for instance, i know they limit the trails to one main ridable track but this would keep it seperate from other users and possibly more managable/chargable and keep us marauding hordes out of harms way…just a thought.Posted 9 years ago
I had reported the threat from info I had from the councils and the Greensand Trust, but I haven't been told about any imediate threat.Posted 9 years ago
I've been riding there since the 80s and the thing with Woburn is to keep a low profile and remember it's private land. However trail modification has got very aggresive lately and people have actually been signing these 'cheeky' trails.
Another issue is permits. Well watch the warden try and get permits from the riders in the jump area….he wont because people don't want to buy them then make it worse by dishing out abuse.
Then there were biking businesses running in the woods, which in theory is like someone setting up in your back garden!
There are users forums, but I've never seen any other cycling clubs etc at these meetings.
The maintenance of the area is paid for by the council, who in turn sub it out to the Greensand Trust IIRC. However due to cuts the Duke was asked to chip in, and I think his attitude was 'if you want it you sort it' if you don't I'll just close off the lot, roughly speaking.
The problem with the biking community is that in this case it's all take take.
However, it's not all bad news. There are a lot of people on our side. And at the end of the day it's mainly plantation and could be flattened anyway 😥
Edit; That last bit came out a bit wrong i.e it's plantation and not SSSI
Just had a word with someone about this, and yes the threat is now serious.Posted 9 years ago
Basically what was agreed was that the old quarry pit could be used as a play area as it was out of site. However the development has gone up the banks into full sight and the digging is undermining the trees. Also the digging has gone wasy further out and is considered an eyesore (I agree with that part)
It needs to be properly sorted, but I believe even the CTC coundn't get anywhere.james-oMember
is this about closure of the jump spot or acess to the whole estate? it'd be a real shame to lose access to everything but the main bridleways.
they've had signs up about the digging damaging the trees and drainage etc for a couple of years and the digging's carried on, sounds like communication hasn't been too good in either direction? sad – it's a great spot and there's a good scene based around the jump spotPosted 9 years ago
This is what i was told but the guy went further to say the threat was to the whole area i.e. all of the non public access routes with trails on. If this is policable is another matter. i partly agree about the unauthorised digging that has been done in the bowl but i do kind of enjoy bits of it too, after 20 years of riding the trails and saying wouldn't it be good if we had some jumps etc and now we have it's soon to be flattened.Posted 9 years ago
I dont suppose our local tory council have any plans for such recreational facilities!
It would be the whole area.Posted 9 years ago
Thing is they don't mind some of the stuff, some of the recent trail work is very subtle as well as being very good.
However some of it is dreadful and when I rode through on Sunday I did see some stuff that made me think 'oh FFS'
As for policing it, yes that would be hard but they would fence off sections which means to access it you have to commit criminal damage.
I felt very much the same as it's only 10mins away from home or 5 from work, other than Woburn we are forced to visit the Chilterns and other areas none of which I know, otherwise i'll be up the M6 to Cannock on a Sunday morning…3 hours of driving and about £40 all in… 🙁Posted 9 years ago.duncanMember
"Another issue is permits. Well watch the warden try and get permits from the riders in the jump area….he wont because people don't want to buy them then make it worse by dishing out abuse."
That's a shame as most of the guys i photograph there seem to have no issue paying up, maybe they're just a little bit more moral than other DJersPosted 9 years agoventanariderMember
Been riding Woburn for many years without any real problems from other users. Iirc the permits were originally issued mainly for insurance reasons due to the amount/type of use.
I think that now the building has spread up the hill along with the other visible purpose built trails crossing bridleways are causing the issues with other users
Btw they are still selling permits!Posted 9 years agoIanMunroMember
I felt very much the same as it's only 10mins away from home or 5 from work, other than Woburn we are forced to visit the Chilterns and other areas none of which I know, otherwise i'll be up the M6 to Cannock on a Sunday morning…3 hours of driving and about £40 all in..
Not wishing to sound antagonistic by are there no bridleways nearby?Posted 9 years agoBlurboySubscriber
I have 'used' the woods for the last 30 plus years and held a ride permit for as long as I've been riding there. This ongoing official approval to ride specified tracks is at odds with this thread. I am never totally confident that we ever get the full story on here.
Lots of scaremongering, but has anyone actually seen or heard from the Bedford estates first hand anything to corroborate the rumour mill Are we really likely to turn up on the 1st July and find barbed wire everywhere? If access is to be restricted in less than 5 weeks surely someone must know something for certain now?Posted 9 years agorbrstrMember
Are we really likely to turn up on the 1st July and find barbed wire everywhere?
There already is, i have the scars to prove it! 🙂Posted 9 years ago
With regard to the rumours, could anyone be more specific? it a big old place. i ride up there every lunchtime and have paid for a permit but this is news to me. if its only the jump bits the kids have made, fine, all the proper Singletrack is nearer to bow brickhill anyway, it would be impossible to close that
The first I heard of it was in a mail from the council via the Greensand Trust.Posted 9 years ago
The council and the Greensand Trust are pro biking.
Thing is the threats always been there, is it coincidence that this stirs as the place gets more popular and after recent trails have been made?
Jase I think the worst case senario would be that we would treat it like we did a few years back. Public ROWs would remain open.
It's a shame we couldn't get involved years ago, there's ample room for trails there.markcdoMember
I've just had a quick skim through most of the above and thought I'd add a bit more info. My dear old mum is on the town/district council in Leighton Buzzard, a few miles from Woburn and knowing I'm a keen biker told me what she knows about potential closure of the trails there.
It is very likely that the trails and surounding area will be closed, and fairly soon. As another forum member has said the council are fairly pro-cycling and the Duke who is not really for or against cycling was quite happy for this area to be used for jumps etc. Within reason.
More recently however, trail construction has spread over a wider area, which was only really a minor concern to the landowner, the real problem as I think he sees it, is the usage of the area by a wider , more unsavoury spectrum of the population for non-cycling related activities (dogging/drugs/parties etc) once all the healthy, wholesome bikers are at home in bed.
I don't know what, if any, evidence there is to support this – but that's his feelings at the moment, so I'm lead to believe. A very unfortunate situation indeed, but the usual story of some idiots spoiling things for the majority of sensible landusers. I don't even think discussions with the landowner would help here, unless the biking community can police the area – not likely.
I'll hassle the old dear for more intelligence as soon as she knows anything !! BTW she didn't explain dogging – any ideas ??!!Posted 9 years ago
It's certainly another permit. And actually there was talk about letting us extend the man made trails there.
Also a BMX and pump? track was built nearby in one of the old quarries. So you see they are willing to help.
What's interestg about markcdo's comments is that if that is the case, why then the recent surfacing work on the Byway which only encourages more cars and people with dog related hobbies.Posted 9 years ago
Pump track in MK?? Where please tell…
I appologise if i have wrongly reported any info on the matter as i said I am not really in the know but this has come from several different parties now plus all those signs and markers have disapeared which is apparently the start of the closure process. It is good to here from those of you with more inside knowledge so please keep it coming as many folk I ride with up there are quite disapointed about the prospect of closure.Posted 9 years agotbantSubscriber
Does any one know if there will be any public meetings where regular users can have an in put or any contact deatils so we can find more about what is going on? At the moment it looks like a forgone conclusion which strikes me as very sad for all the considerate users and those of us who have paid for permits.
I would love to know how the closure is going to be managed as there is good access from bridleways across back wood, bow brickhill park, aspley heath and aspley wood. Surely it will be impossible to stop access to these, all that can be achived is the closure of the jump site and the removal of the small trails that come off the main routes.
I cant see how any of this will help with the more dodgy stuff that happens in the evenings.
Cheers to those who are letting us know what is going on.Posted 9 years ago
The pump track is (apparently) in Heath & Reach in the old quarry near the Cock Inn. I haven't seen it myself.
donks the signs going isn't anything to worry about, those little obvious things like signs and bits of shore always disappear. It's as I said earlier, if kept out of site of all the paths and other ROWs it seems almost acceptable. I think there are two reasons for this. First of all the people who have a general interest in the natural state of the area don't like it and rightly so. Secondly (and this is only hearsay) the Duke is worried that if anyone is injured on what appears to be 'sanctioned' trails and man-made obstacles i.e 'look we've built this for you come on and ride it' he'll face claims.Posted 9 years ago
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