How excited we were to hear the morning news announce that rights of way near us in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors would be re opening for the weekend. How dissapointed we were when we went and checked the extent of the path opening on the North Yorks footpath website.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re grateful of any sort of access increase, and to be fair for an emergency site it’s a good one, probably run on a very limited resource by very few staff under a lot of pressure. AND THAT ITSELF IS OUR REAL GRIPE.
There seems to be absolutely no coherent structure or allocation of resources to getting this crisis sorted out. The official line is Tony says it’s fixed so now lets get on with the elections. Thousands of troops, hauliers and plant machinery operaters were drafted in overnight, to burn the beasts but they haven’t put any extra staff onto the massive job of fighting farmers tooth and hoof for every inch of currently restricted ground.
Anyway, three cheers for forestry who seem to be doing their bit to open up riding in as many areas as possible and look like the best bet for a decent ride this weekend. After all you can bet the few miles of path opened up near White Horse bank and Staithes will be swarming with exciteable ramblers.
Another option is to follow the lead of Andy Stevenson from Biketreks in Ambleside and find out from the council rightts of way officer all the local BOAT and RUPP routes which aren’t footpaths or bridleways and therefore not legally closed or under MAFF restrictions. Don’t go deliberately riding through farmyards, and make sure you use any disinfectant dips or scrubs provided – after all farmers are legally allowed to own shotguns – and expect to be involved in the occasional “discussion” over legal and moral obligations with local landowners and users, but if you’ve got the neck for it, do it. After all Andy and his lads have been riding legally off road for over a month now.
As usual if anyone hears of any significant areas opening up then please let us know.