Although yesterday was the first day when no new cases of F+M were reported we're still a very long way from seeing significant trail re-opening in most areas.
Anyway we may as well make the most of what trails there are, so here's a list of the official access sites blatantly stolen and then 'adjusted' from OUTDOORSmagic.com and the local reports sent in by you. Thanks to everyone who got in touch, particular thanks to Jon and Sally at OUTDOORSmagic and have a cracking weekend.
• Countryside Agency Access Maps - general access situation
• MAFF web site or phone their Foot and Mouth information line on 0845 0504141. For Northern Ireland the equivalent number is 02890 520100
• Institute of Public Rights of Way Officers latest information on footpath closures and other information on the infection and its impact on public rights of way.
• Guardian newspaper special report
• BBC News focus on foot and mouth
• Youth Hostel Association, for details of closed hostels
• Mountaineering Council of Scotland site for latest Scottish access restrictions
• The Countryside Agency - information on which footpaths are 'likely to be open' plus links
• National Trust Scotland - latest on Scottish National Trust owned areas which are open.
• Forestry Commission - latest on Forestry Commission Land.
• Snowdonia National Park - latest details of what's open in the Park
• British Waterways - towpath access information
• Cumbrian Access - searchable access map that seem to specialise in gardens and car parks
• Yorkshire Dales - Shows latest depressing increase in closures
• Peak District - Peak access information
• Brecon Beacons - Mid wales access situation
• North Yorks Footpaths - Not much open but they seem to be trying
We've tried to highlight the useful sites here, but if you're looking for anything more specific we suggest you try your friendly local search engine. Don't be suprised if it turns up a load of jibberish though, we found several sites relating to Edward 1st's Welsh campaigns when we typed in "foot and mouth access" on AOL.
Here's the latest opening news from our users.
The following routes are definitely open in the N Leeds area: - Meanwood Valley Trail (MVT) Scotland Wood (not necessarily a ROW but some ace technical stuff creating a short loop with the MVT) and Otley Chevin. I am advised that the following route will also be opened on 18/05/01 by the Harewood Estate; Lofthouse Lodge on A61 (SE 325 432) to New Bridge (SE 313 434) onto Ebor Way to Home Farm and Harewood Village (SE 322 452).
Scoop, last weekend we rode a 65 miler, starting at Sale Water Park just outside Manchester, carried on up the River Mersey bank to the pyramid at Stockport, 11 miles off road so far, then up High Lane (a real drag on tarmac of about 7 miles, truly terrible in traffic, but hey we are use to that now ! )then onto the Middlewood Way up to Bollington where due to F@M paranoia you still have to leave the offroad section, however you can get onto the tow path for the Macclesfield canal (and then call it a day by retracing your steps back from Macc) the MW gives about another 9 miles of offroad, we got off the trail here to ride over some biggish hills alongside Kerridge hill to complete another 8 miles of quietish lanes and B roads including some of the Cat and Fiddle climb, leading onto Macclesfield Forest where after a couple of miles of offroad tracks you get to do the best (legal and open) offroad descent in the area, a real swooper which has been the cause of numerous broken collar bones, not at all technical but bloody fast !!, after this you can opt to ride back along quietish lanes to get home, or do as we did and retrace our steps back along the offroad sections, by now dodging the dogs and owners .
Not exactly riveting I know, but in these lean times better than nothing and at last a descent worth getting buzzed about. The only other place nearby for us is Delamere and having ridden there to ride some offroad it was disappointing to see just how restricted the riding area was. Great if you are a walker as you could probably have a grand day out but for anyone more mobile it is very limiting.
The 65 miler above is going to be repeated on Tuesday 22nd May if anyones interested, start time will be 0700 so that we can get up High Lane before the majority of the rush hour traffic, anyone welcome to come along for this flat 65% offroader. Email if you are coming.
Hi, In response to your request about what's open where;
In the Bristol Area, we've got the following woodlands open : * Leigh Woods (close to town centre & Ashton Court)
* Ashton Hill Plantation (West of Leigh Woods - about a 30 minute cycle. ride away)
I've not ridden around Leigh Woods yet, but it's well used by family/walk types. Ashton Hill Plantation (AHP) is less well known & so isn't used so much. The signs on the gates of AHP say that you must stay within the boundary of the forest. We had a quick play around there last week. Nice to get out again.
Well done to the Forestry people for being sensible !
Thetford High Lodge, Brandon Country Park and the area around Mayday farm (including the rather churned up Black Route) are all open and have been for a month or so, but there are still restrictions in place which are marked on maps at Hi Lodge and the Country park and at the edge of restricted areas, so please do not venture onto closed land.
Dalby forest is allegedly open but access restrictions are very tight heading up towards the Adder Stone area, what singletrack there is open is completely waterlogged bog so it's best avoiding. There's more rideable singletrack open heading southwards from the visitor centre towards Thornton Le Dale.
The Dales are still to all intents and purposes completely shut and it looks like it'll stay that way as there were new disease outbreaks this week. The North Yorks Moors are still clean, but all still shut apart from some footpath scrag ends near the white horse / Sutton bank.
Wharncliffe's open though (M1 Junction 35 near Sheffield) and was in decent condition before it rained. Otherwise Afan Argoed and Coed Y brenin in Wales are both open for business, but prepare to pitch in with a few minutes volunteer digging to keep tham that way.
Upper Derwent Valley, Derbyshire, is partially open. All tracks around the reservoir are open to mountain biking. There are still restrictions on the neighbouring fells however this is being monitored.
Updated information is available on the Peak District Web Site
We'll try and keep the site updated through the day, so if you know of more riding areas that we haven't mentioned on site yet, get in touch.