Ride Sheffield volunteer Martin Clist recently joined other Eastern Moors enthusiasts for the latest stakeholder meeting which is a chance to discuss current issues on the estate and a means of bringing diverse user groups together. Here are his wise words:
With John off gallivanting around the forests off Fontainbleau bouldering (mountain biker in “other interests” shock) it was my turn to represent Ride Sheffield at the Eastern Moors partnership meeting towards the end of October. After taking a while to find Barbrook Cottage (which we can now ride past on the recently opened concessionary bridleway) I went in to find all the usual suspects from groups as diverse as The BMC, Sheffield Archeological Society, the British Horse Society and others all skilfully chaired by Danny Udall.
Much environmental work had been carried out over the summer including felling and uprooting of trees below Froggatt edge to increase bio-diversity and let the light in- hopefully this will stop the crags getting too green as well which will be welcome news for those of us who, like John, dabble in the dark climbing arts.
The big news for us is the work that has already been done to improve the bridleways on Totley Moss including the filling in of the massive puddles (rumours were entire bikes were dredged up from the bottom of some of them) on Moss road. These improvements have been carried out in conjunction with Ride Sheffield and by teams of volunteers so many thanks to them. Work is ongoing to ensure that the rights of way are improved with gates being replaced, walls being rebuilt and drainage being sorted on many bog-tastic areas which can only be a good thing for us.
There were also discussions about how to encourage livestock away from the gates and access areas (any suggestions on a post-card please) and it just goes to show the lengths to which the eastern moors partnership is going to encourage people of all persuasions into these places.
We are also even closer to having the long-awaited concessionary bridleway along the top of Froggat and Curbar Edges which will link up into the existing routes along Baslow Edge. Not long now, but patience is a virtue…..so to ensure the goodwill of all user groups, please do all you can to foster good relations with other users if you ride those routes.
I personally had a great time and learnt a huge amount about this area – the archeological history of the eastern moors alone is bonkers without even talking about the ecology – and everyone at the meeting was friendly and clearly wanted the best for the area and the people who use it. The Eastern Moors Partnership continues to be THE model for user-group involvement at all levels and it won’t be long before we can reap the benefits of this far sighted approach by riding directly out of Sheffield and onto a network of well-thought out and constructed bridleways. We won’t even have to see a car for the most part!
All that remains is to say thanks to everyone involved and to remind everyone to please just be nice to everyone we meet on the trails- I know we are but you wouldn’t believe how much of a difference it makes at these meetings if people have good things to say about us.