The Longshaw estate sits on the eastern side of Sheffield. Over the last few years the National Trust have been keen to welcome more mountain bikers. Its trails might not be that gnarly but opening up permissive bridleways and linking them to the Eastern Moors has made a huge difference to the riding in this area.
It’s been a few years since the permissive bridleways were opened but the launch wasn’t well publicised. You can’t blame a landowner for worrying that opening a new trail might be more hassle than its worth but they tell us they have been hugely pleased to find that bikers’ “Be Nice, Say Hi” attitude means that there have been no reports of conflict on their land. Bikers also are tending to stick to the routes on which they are welcome, something which has further reassured them. This means they are now even more interested in seeing what they can do for mountain biking.
Earlier this month Peak District MTB were invited to meet with the National Trust Sports Development Officer and rangers and we’re pleased to report that things are looking up for bikers in the Dark Peak. There are simple things we can do to work together: watch this space for more details. For a start, we raised the issue that one of our members mentioned that the signs weren’t clear. Poor signage meant walkers might think bikers are riding where they shouldn’t, which could increase conflict. We went out exploring and found new permissive bridleways on the estate that weren’t clear or well publicised. We fed this back to the National Trust and they are now going to look at improving the signage on all their land. They are also looking at ways to make the routes more ‘joined up’.
Whilst we’re grateful that landowners now want to open up new trails, it’s clear that advocacy groups like Peak District MTB, Ride Sheffield, and importantly YOU are doing your bit to improve access. More can be done: keep “Being Nice and Saying Hi”, stop by in the cafe, do some Christmas shopping in the shop, park in the car park and donate some cash towards the upkeep of the estate. Your voice also matters: if you spot a problem in the Peak District, be it with dodgy signage, ideas for new routes or trails that need maintenance drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org