You know you’re influence is evolving when you get invited to a meeting and your first reaction is amazement.
Ride Sheffield was recently invited to the launch of the Upland Skies project which aims to address the woeful lack of raptors in the Peak District. We have to admit that, initially, our reaction was why us? However, the fact that mountain bikers are now seen as a group who care sufficiently about the environment they ride in to be invited to a conservation focused event is something of which we should all be proud.
The Upland Skies project is bidding for Heritage Lottery funds to inspire those who care about this issue to make a contribution with a heavy emphasis on Sheffield and the Sheffield moors. The initial meeting was aimed at sounding out recreationalists, land managers, conservationists and land owners. There were people from the British Mountaineering Council, Moors for the Future, National Trust, a grouse estate, the Peak District National Park, RSPB and many more. Interestingly, several of those from conservation bodies have also been known to ride a mountain bike.
What can we do to help? Ride Sheffield expressed the opinion that the project can be relevant to recreational users in a number of ways. We can offer practical help when required and pass on information to the wider biking public. We can promote good messages and expand the range of people engaged in this vital project.
Is this the kind of thing on which Ride Sheffield should be expending time and effort? We think it is. The places we ride are not simply fun places to ride a bike but fundamentally important to bio-diversity. Let’s look after the place we love….