“Peak District MTB are doing locally what they can, stuff that just looks like day job mountain bike advocacy. To them. But when you look across the patch, because there isn’t a British Mountaineering Council, a Ramblers Association for mountain biking; they’re actually right at the forefront.”
“There are some other groups doing some really good stuff but Peak District MTB are up there.”
Rewarding words from Open MTB founder Andrew Nelson, after speaking at the Peak District MTB AGM held in Hope last week.
2019 has been a busy year for PDMTB. From the celebration of the success of the Cut Gate appeal to the kick-off of our 22% Campaign, we have been quietly working on making things better for mountain bikers, and the AGM gave us the opportunity to talk about our activity and celebrate our brilliant members.
“2019 has been a good one,” says Dan Noble, who was elected Chairperson for the third year running. “Not only did Cut Gate get funded and plans made for the work, but we started 22% – our aim to double the number of rideable trails in the Peak District.
“In addition, our ongoing pressure on Rushup Edge has led to DCC holding off resurfacing and possibly cancelling further unneeded work.”
But 2019 has been more than the ‘big’ activities. At the AGM we also talked about some of the more core activities: trail work, access, and conservation.
“We’re really happy with our work on the Roaches where we’ve opened up a permissive route with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust,” adds Dan, “And our progress in developing access around Ladybower in partnership with Severn Trent Water has been a steady process – but is now beginning to pay dividends with our first trail day coming up in December.” (Thursday 19th)
Guest speakers at the AGM were Jon Rowe from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Andrew Nelson from Open MTB. We’re rightfully proud of our work with SWT and in his session, Jon talked at length about the positivity which has come from the relationship with PDMTB.
“We can either work with mountain bikers or try not to work with mountain bikers,” said Jon. “At least this way we have an an open network of communication with you and also we benefit from an active work group that comes out monthly and helps us maintain trails that we wouldn’t be able to maintain anyway.
“It’s a win: win really to engage with you and work with you.”
After Andrew’s glowing testimony, we heard more about the 22% campaign, it covered why 22% came about, why it’s important and what we are trying to achieve. But most importantly, how mountain bikers can help us to build up the momentum of the campaign, with the running total being updated from 51 routes logged to over 60 during the meeting. (You can submit your suggestions here.)
This provided an introduction to the meat of the evening: the Q&A session where our members explored, interrogated and questioned how we are helping to make things better.
“I thought the talks were really interesting and the group appreciated them,” says assistant-treasurer Esther Hobson. Covering everything from lobbying power to representation, there was real depth to the conversation – and it all feeds into our plans for next year.”
These questions and discussions were greatly enhanced by the presence of Andrew from Open MTB and land-managers Jon of SWT and Graham Clark of the National Trust (who has talked at one of our previous AGMs about their work at Lyme Park in the Cheshire corner of the Peak District).
Our full annual report that was distributed at the AGM can be viewed here:
Peak District MTB – Secretary’s Report – 2018 to 2019
And so to our now annual event – the Peak District MTB Advocacy Awards. With nearly nobody out there recognising the efforts of normal folk who put something back, it has to come down to us to say how awesome you lot are. And so the awards were born, here are the results for 2019:
BEST VIDEO – ICY HILARITY IN FLASH, ADAM ROBERTS
BEST PHOTO – CAVEDALE, PETE HERBERT
BEST EVENT – STEEL VALLEY RIDE
ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR – PAUL BARRETT
There are nice awards waiting to be picked up by all – come and get them, folks! It’s a joy to recognise your love of the Peak District and we thank you all for your nominations.