Duking It Out – More MTB access to Chatsworth Estate in the future?

Recently Chatsworth Estate invited interested groups to comment on their Whole Estate Plan. Obviously we couldn’t miss the opportunity make our case for improved access, so we dusted off our crayons and stated the case for mountain bikes once more.

You can see our response here. It’s not perfect by any means, but has given us a great foot in the door and opened up a conversation with another one of the big local landowners.

What have we asked for? Firstly, we’ve suggested a number of permissive bridleways across the estate, starting with the most obvious…the track from Baslow to Chatsworth. There’s also the tantalising prospect of trails in Clay Pits Wood, linking the estate to the Monsal Trail via Hassop Station – a Chatsworth property. What kind of trails? Well the topography would be perfect for many different options – not least a fun red.

What did we miss? We didn’t think of the opportunity for something like an XC race on the estate. Events like this would suit all and we can’t be alone in look at the hills around the house and imagining riding up there. We missed suggesting the estate as a great location for coaching; we know coaches who would love to develop riders in the shadow of Chatsworth House.

So where are we with it? Well, our input is being drawn in to the Whole Estate Plan as well as comments from the Derwent Valley Cycleways Trust – a group working to develop an off-road route between Derby and Baslow.

Talking to Chatsworth, they were impressed with our proposal and our approach. In the coming months, our input will be included in their updated Whole Estate Plan. We’ll keep talking with Chatsworth about the opportunities our community provides to them, and fingers crossed, we’ll open up some more access – and maybe events in one of the Peak District’s most cherished locations.

14 September 2023