The Sheffield Moors Partnership has brought together all the bodies who manage moorland on the fringes of Sheffield. The National Trust, RSPB, Peak District National Park Authority, Sheffield Wildlife Trust and others have joined forces to see how much they can synchronise their management policies across some of the most popular and important moorland in the country.
Why does this matter to mountain bikers? Well, there is an opportunity to improve the network of bridleways that connect Sheffield to the moors and lead out into the wider Peak District. At a recent meeting, there was an opportunity to come up with a wish list, to identify footpaths that could be upgraded and areas where an entirely new path could be created to allow easier two wheel access to the Peak District.
However, a wish list is one thing, turning it into reality is another. As we have found on the Eastern Moors, despite the best efforts of Danny Udall and his team, it is taking time to convert aspirations into trails we can actually use. This is not altogether surprising and is something we mountain bikers have to get used to. There are numerous other user groups who have to be consulted, statutory bodies such as Derbyshire CC who have to agree to the changes and a multitude of environmental and archaeological hoops to jump through.
Having said all that, there really are some exciting suggestions on the table that could transform riding in the Peak by reducing the amount of time we all spend being targets for myopic motorists! Watch out for a meeting in the future where we can discuss the proposals. There may well be opportunities for us to help out with dig days – watch this space.