Hold the front page! Meeting both interesting and informative shock!!
Sorry, couldn’t resist, because it’s not often I can say that about a meeting discussing access and conservation. However, having been involved in the consultation process for the Eastern Moors from the start, I can only say it has been a pleasure throughout. The new management team’s inclusive attitude has been refreshing and mountain biking has been accorded equal treatment with all the other user groups. The National Trust/RSPB set out with the intention of creating an examplary model of how conservation and access could coexist and I just hope other conservation bodies take note because so far, the results exceed expectations.
The latest meeting examined the completed management plan for 2012-2017, wrestled with the thorny question of when to charge for access (film companies etc), whether to charge for parking and how user groups can request an improvement to access.
I’ll not go into great detail about the discussions – if you need more detail, drop me a line. However, the management plan should be up on the http://www.easternmoors.org.uk/ site shortly. It’s worth a browse if only to check out the proposed extension of the bridleway network. These things always take longer than expected, but it looks as though we may reap the benefits sooner rather than later.
One last point. Just to illustrate how important this kind of engagement with land managers can be, Danny Udall, who heads up the Eastern Moors Partnership, has been using Sheepskulls DH track as an example of how dialogue with a user group can solve problems. The exemplary way that riders have adhered to the agreement not to ride above the wall and the way we have self-policed has been noted and is appreciated. That, ladies and gents, is called a pat on the back.