Ten days ago we launched our crowd sourcing project to raise money to build trails in Lady Canning’s Plantation. It’s an excellent site, with great soil and located on the edge of the Peak Park (half of the woods are in the national park) but is a 4 mile traffic free ride from Hunters Bar
Since we launched the project we have been inundated with a couple of things; primarily money! Yes you have been amazing and we have been quite overwhelmed by the support and the good feeling in the Sheffield (and beyond) MTB community, with individuals giving anything from £5 to £100! It has meant that in a short amount of time we have raised just over £2000
The other thing we have had quite a few of is questions! So hopefully we can answer a few of them here…..
Why are we paying for trails? – The council has a lot woodland; but in these austere times it is pretty hard to ask them to build us some trails. Parkwood came about over a five years+ funding application. These things take time and there is less money around. However they are happy for us to use the woods and do something worthwhile with them. Groups like Ride Sheffield rely on goodwill in a lot of ways, we have a lot of people who give up time to go to meetings, plan dig days, work with the council and the peak park to improve our lot; there are also a lot of you who have given up time to come and dig. But it’s still hard for lots of people to find the time to come and do that. So here is a chance to dig without having to lift a finger!
Why Lady Canning’s and what is planned? – As mentioned earlier, Lady Canning’s is a great choice for a loop as it is a good size bit of woodland with good draining soil that is on the City to Peak cycle route, it has good parking and it has amenable owners (the Council). We will be planning a shortish (2-3km) loop that will be based around a blue grade flowing route as well as a few red options too (these may develop over time depending on funding) we want to remain faithful to the character of the woods and to create a beginner friendly loop that will be great for riders of all levels. More information is here
Where are we with the planning and when do we expect some trails? – So far we have approval from the Parks and Woodlands team (the landowners) and the Rights of Way team and the Local Access Forum have approved it too. The plans will then be open to be commented on by the public and then providing we have the funding in place we are ready to go some time in the summer. But please be patient as this can often take a little longer than hoped
Why aren’t we using Kickstarter etc? – This if something we have been asked quite a lot. Kickstarter etc are great, but if we did not make the total amount of £7500 that we are asking for, we wouldn’t get anything at all. The total amount is a target and if we can make that much great, if we make more than even better. But if we do not get to that point then we will still be building the trail using whatever money that we have raised. So the more that we raise, the more will be done by the professionals and the sooner there will be a trail to ride. The less money raised, the more volunteer dig days will be required. With the full amount raise we would pretty much hope to get it all done. We want to be as transparent as possible with all the money raised, we want all thew money to go to the trails too!
What other ways are you going to raise money? – We are hoping that the donations will make the core of our funding, but we still have plans to sell t-shirts once our new logo is sorted, but this will be a smaller contribution. We are also approaching the local bike industry and if you work for a company who would supports community projects, ask them to get in touch. We have also had clubs and groups who are collecting more from the whole group and donating like that. The more the better. Just think, gym membership is about £40 a month. A quarter of that would go a long way to helping Sheffield get another trail! Also the better this trail turns out, it will provide a great example of what we can do in other areas of woodland.
Is this going to be an annual thing? – We would like to keep on building trails and it seems like a good way to do it. We may be trying to raise different amounts each year, it may be for a whole loop or just an extension to existing trails (Greno trails are funded by the Steel City Race and will hopefully be added to every year). It would be great in time to have bits of linking trails in woodland across the city.
Can we do anything else? Giving money is great, even those small amounts really add up. Beyond that spreading the word about what we do is really useful, its surprising the number of riders we chat to who are not aware of the project or the group. Finally when the work is done we will still have dig days to maintain the trail too. This is everyone’s trail!
How to donate – You can either fire across your money via internet banking to the Ride Sheffield account using the following details:
Account is with HSBC.
Or you can donate via Paypal. The address for Paypal payments is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again for all the support that we have received, it really is amazing. If you want to know more, please get in touch at email@example.com