Merry Christmas from Peak District MTB

Another year, another look back over what we’ve been up to in Peak District MTB. It’s a tradition, isn’t it? Look at what we did, promise to do better in 2023. So let’s have a go at that shall we?

Well it has been a decent year for us again. As we often point out, the Peak District is actually pretty big, and across the rather huge reach of our activities we’ve been busy. As always, our most obvious activity has been in maintenance on the trails and once again you have been out there representing mountain biking brilliantly. In 2022, we completed just shy of 350 hours of volunteer trail days, with work being done around the patch; but focused on the Hope Valley where James has continued to lead the work there and down in the Roaches where Dan has kept up the Sundays with the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust; a great relationship that shows what we can do with a bit of give and take.

Elsewhere we’ve carried on working with landowners across the Peak District, not least in Macclesfield Forest where our relationship with United Utilities continues. If you haven’t ridden there at all, take a trip – the area is a treasure trove of brilliant riding.

It’s been less fun in the Dark Peak – last year’s hopes for increased access in the Upper Derwent Valley took a knock with a change of management and going back to square one with that particular relationship – looking forward to better next year though.

As always, we’ve been fighting the corner of mountain bikers. Who can forget the Pindale and Cavedale debacle earlier in the year? Another call to arms made DCC stop and actually undo some of the damage done and promise to consult more effectively with us before any more work is done. We’re keeping an eye on things here.

We’ve not stopped with Project 22% – we’re still pushing on increasing access and work with the National Trust (a brilliantly evolving relationship) and the Kinder and High Peak Advisory Committee looks set to help with that work.

And we’ve taken on some more help to do it. For those of us who’ve been on the committee for a few years, one of the little tests we’ve had about how well we’re doing is seeing how many people want to get involved in what we’re doing. And we’ve welcomed new committee members in the last year; Greville, Graham and most recently Alistair have all brought a shot of energy, ideas and enthusiasm to what we’re doing. We’re already getting some of those ideas out there – take a look at some of Jim’s articles – and there’ll be more in 2023.

At our AGM at the end of November, Chris took on the role of Chair from Dan and we talked about various topics including the idea of the ‘Trail Pot’; funding mountain biking advocacy and development at a broader level.

So a busy year. It feels like we’re evolving a bit as Peak District MTB; making a bit more of a mark and growing in confidence that we have a strong voice that we’re not afraid to use. More of that in 2023.

Finally, we can’t wrap up the year without saying a huge merry Christmas and thank you to you, our members and followers. Your support keeps us going.

Have a brilliant Christmas and a Happy New Year.

24 December 2022