The Green Lanes Blog

mercalia
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The Green Lanes Blog

Postby mercalia » 8 Aug 2019, 12:15pm

For 20 years the LDNPA has made a bold claim: it has found an innovative solution to the problem of off-road vehicles on unsealed roads. What is this solution, central to the LDNPA’s green lane policies? Management and containment through partnership working (LDNPA statement 18 October 2017).


https://www.savethelakedistrict.com/blog

Bmblbzzz
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Bmblbzzz » 8 Aug 2019, 12:18pm

Presumably LDNPA = Lake District National Park Authority? Or is it an Agency? Then again, it could be Association, which would mean something rather different.

pwa
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby pwa » 8 Aug 2019, 2:42pm

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LinusR
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby LinusR » 8 Aug 2019, 5:33pm

Some context may help.

We are a group of local residents, walkers and climbers, campaigning to protect two green lanes between Coniston and Little Langdale: one runs from High Oxenfell to Hodge Close, the other from High Tilberthwaite to Bridge End. For decades these were the routes we chose when we wanted to get away from noise and pollution and enjoy the calm and beauty of the National Park.

This land was left to the National Trust and the nation by Beatrix Potter. In 1930 the Chairman of the National Trust wrote in The Times that of all the pieces of land the NT had acquired ‘not one of them ... was better worth saving than this glorious stretch of mountain, moor and tarn.’

​But today your walks are likely to be spoiled by convoys of 4x4s and groups of noisy trail bikes. Tracks that were not made for motor vehicles have been churned up, in places three feet deep down to the bedrock. They have become impassable for farm vehicles, horse riders and off-road wheelchairs.

The National Park Authority's blatant neglect

​​Because of the policies of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), traffic on the routes has increased massively: in 2002-4 the Tilberthwaite track was used by 30 4x4s a month on average. This rose to 163 a month in 20017/18, a more than 5-fold increase, with the number of motorbikes increasing to around 88 a month. The vehicles cross two National Trust farms, High Oxenfell and High Tilberthwaite. Life on these sheep farms is hard enough at the best of times; the off-road invasion makes it even more difficult. One of the farming families wrote an open letter in June 2017, saying they might have to give up the tenancy because of the volume of recreational 4x4s.

‘Consensus management’ turns out to be based only on the consensus between the National Park and off-road enthusiasts, who are, unbelievably, also responsible for monitoring the ‘sustainability’ of the routes.

It’s high time to look at another consensus: that of residents, farmers, walkers, cyclists, horse-riders, the National Trust, the Friends of the Lake District, the Wainwright Society, the Fell and Rock Climbing Club, the Fylde Mountaineering Club and the Yorkshire Ramblers. These beautiful fell tracks should not be used for a fun drive in your 4x4 or on your motorbike.

From: https://www.savethelakedistrict.com


Well said.

Zulu Eleven
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Zulu Eleven » 10 Aug 2019, 1:05pm

Do you think that the people who are currently most vociferously campaigning against 4wd access to the countryside are any different from the ones who, just a few years ago were saying things like, and I quote:

Mountain biking is, in most cases, inappropriate in the wilderness areas of open moorland and mountains.”

“Where legal access on bridleways and by-ways does exist on wild or sensitive areas of moorland and mountain, voluntary agreements should be made to restrict their use in return for improved facilities elsewhere.”


And who, even today, are saying things like:

“would it not be a tragedy if the quiet solitude of some of the most precious footpaths in our landscape were destroyed by cyclists whizzing by, oblivious to the environment about them, intent only on speed and burning up energy.


Make no mistake - look at what’s happening with 4WD/motorbike access and remember the words ‘but for the grace of god...’

reohn2
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby reohn2 » 10 Aug 2019, 1:19pm

LinusR wrote:Some context may help.

We are a group of local residents, walkers and climbers, campaigning to protect two green lanes between Coniston and Little Langdale: one runs from High Oxenfell to Hodge Close, the other from High Tilberthwaite to Bridge End. For decades these were the routes we chose when we wanted to get away from noise and pollution and enjoy the calm and beauty of the National Park.

This land was left to the National Trust and the nation by Beatrix Potter. In 1930 the Chairman of the National Trust wrote in The Times that of all the pieces of land the NT had acquired ‘not one of them ... was better worth saving than this glorious stretch of mountain, moor and tarn.’

​But today your walks are likely to be spoiled by convoys of 4x4s and groups of noisy trail bikes. Tracks that were not made for motor vehicles have been churned up, in places three feet deep down to the bedrock. They have become impassable for farm vehicles, horse riders and off-road wheelchairs.

The National Park Authority's blatant neglect

​​Because of the policies of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), traffic on the routes has increased massively: in 2002-4 the Tilberthwaite track was used by 30 4x4s a month on average. This rose to 163 a month in 20017/18, a more than 5-fold increase, with the number of motorbikes increasing to around 88 a month. The vehicles cross two National Trust farms, High Oxenfell and High Tilberthwaite. Life on these sheep farms is hard enough at the best of times; the off-road invasion makes it even more difficult. One of the farming families wrote an open letter in June 2017, saying they might have to give up the tenancy because of the volume of recreational 4x4s.

‘Consensus management’ turns out to be based only on the consensus between the National Park and off-road enthusiasts, who are, unbelievably, also responsible for monitoring the ‘sustainability’ of the routes.

It’s high time to look at another consensus: that of residents, farmers, walkers, cyclists, horse-riders, the National Trust, the Friends of the Lake District, the Wainwright Society, the Fell and Rock Climbing Club, the Fylde Mountaineering Club and the Yorkshire Ramblers. These beautiful fell tracks should not be used for a fun drive in your 4x4 or on your motorbike.

From: https://www.savethelakedistrict.com


Well said.

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pwa
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby pwa » 10 Aug 2019, 2:18pm

I fail to understand how we ever got to a situation where recreational 4x4 ers feel they have a right to play on remote tracks. They are not upholding some ancient right. Landrovers were not invented until the late 1940s and were used by farmers for the first decade or two. Driving around the countryside in 4x4s for fun is a fairly recent thing that ought to have been nipped in the bud a while back. It is totally at odds with what most other users of the countryside go there for, namely escaping from traffic.

There will always be a little friction between user groups in the countryside but all the other groups are looking for peace and quiet. And their points of friction can be managed. We were walking in the Derbyshire Peak District a couple of weeks ago (Kinder if you are interested) and as we were descending a track (possibly Restricted Byway but I'm not certain) we were passed by two MTBers, spearately, not together. One was going a bit faster than I felt comfortable with but both gave us a wide berth and I was generally relaxed about sharing the track with them. With a bit of mutual respect and care walking and MTBing can coexist with neither detracting from the other. That is emphatically not the case with motor sports in the mix.

Zulu Eleven
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Zulu Eleven » 10 Aug 2019, 3:33pm

pwa wrote:I fail to understand how we ever got to a situation where recreational 4x4 ers feel they have a right to play on remote tracks.


Well, it’s certainly not everyone’s opinion that they are ‘playing’, do you regard cyclists riding along roads for no other reason than the enjoyment of the countryside as ‘playing’ too?

They are not upholding some ancient right.


I could say the same about cyclists expecting to be allowed to stop at a cafe

Landrovers were not invented until the late 1940s and were used by farmers for the first decade or two. Driving around the countryside in 4x4s for fun is a fairly recent thing that ought to have been nipped in the bud a while back. It is totally at odds with what most other users of the countryside go there for, namely escaping from


I’ve heard almost exactly the same said, repeatedly and over a period of years, about mountain bikers

There will always be a little friction between user groups in the countryside but all the other groups are looking for peace and quiet.


Again, exactly the same criticisms laid against mountain bikers

And their points of friction can be managed. We were walking in the Derbyshire Peak District a couple of weeks ago (Kinder if you are interested) and as we were descending a track (possibly Restricted Byway but I'm not certain) we were passed by two MTBers, spearately, not together. One was going a bit faster than I felt comfortable with but both gave us a wide berth and I was generally relaxed about sharing the track with them. With a bit of mutual respect and care walking and MTBing can coexist with neither detracting from the other. That is emphatically not the case with motor sports in the mix.


Exactly the opposite to what many in fact say about mountain bikes.

pwa
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby pwa » 10 Aug 2019, 3:44pm

I certainly do "play" when I cycle in the countryside, but I don't do it in a way that spoils it for every other user group. That is what 4x4s and motorbikers do on moorland tracks. They spoil it for every other user group. Walkers. MTBers, horse riders and, of course, farmers. Most of us go off into the wilds to get away from engine noise.

There will always be a bit of friction between user groups. There is sometimes even a bit of bad feeling between runners and walkers, for example. But we can live with that and try to work around it. But motor traffic in otherwise quiet, off-road locations is completely at odds with every other activity.

Motor traffic in remote off-road places ought to be restricted to emergency services, agriculture and so forth.

(I say this as someone who has in the past been involved in efforts to expand the user groups able to access paths and tracks. I worked alongside an equestrian group trying to get horse riding allowed on a dune system , for example. That met with success. And I convinced a farmer to allow a legal bridleway to be reinstated as a route usable by horses and MTBs when for a couple of decades it had been only suitable for walkers. The farmer feared letting MTBs in would also, unintentionally, let in off-road motorcycles. The bridleway was fixed and the motorcycles never came.)

Zulu Eleven
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Zulu Eleven » 10 Aug 2019, 4:01pm

pwa wrote:I certainly do "play" when I cycle in the countryside, but I don't do it in a way that spoils it for every other user group. That is what 4x4s and motorbikers do on moorland tracks. They spoil it for every other user group. Walkers. MTBers, horse riders and, of course, farmers. Most of us go off into the wilds to get away from engine noise.

There will always be a bit of friction between user groups. There is sometimes even a bit of bad feeling between runners and walkers, for example. But we can live with that and try to work around it. But motor traffic in otherwise quiet, off-road locations is completely at odds with every other activity.



Colin said he was out on the Howgills alone, in mist, very quiet, when he came across a single deep wheel track. He was appalled and had an instinctive feeling of hatred. He did not particularly like the boot prints alongside, but the wheel track hit him a great deal harder. The benefit of holding this conference was to make him think hard to try to explain why he had that feeling. Inside, he felt intuitively, "no way should that be there!" The explanation was reasonably clear. The mountain bike is a machine. Real respect and love for the wilderness comes from getting away as far as possible from modern society and especially all machines. Although the biker provides the energy, the bike is still a machine, a complex machine compared to the tools of other activities. Modern man worships machines. The machine has become central to the activity and yet is totally unnecessary as a means of journeying through a wilderness activity. Rather than relating to others and to nature, the tendency is towards mastery over nature by means of an efficient machine.

Minutes of the Mountain biking and the environment conference, Ambleside, 1992 (referring a speech by Colin Mortlock, a respected adventure writer)

Zulu Eleven
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Zulu Eleven » 10 Aug 2019, 4:10pm

I’ll add, it’s interesting that those opposed so often mention noise, engine noise etc.

I wonder if they would suddenly change their minds if the 4WD/motorcyclists were using silent hybrids/battery powered vehicles?

Of course one of the regular criticisms laid against mountain bikers is that we are too quiet, and as a result we sneak up at speed and spook walkers/horseriders/wildlife

Sometimes you just can’t win, eh?

pwa
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby pwa » 10 Aug 2019, 4:11pm

Zulu Eleven wrote:
pwa wrote:I certainly do "play" when I cycle in the countryside, but I don't do it in a way that spoils it for every other user group. That is what 4x4s and motorbikers do on moorland tracks. They spoil it for every other user group. Walkers. MTBers, horse riders and, of course, farmers. Most of us go off into the wilds to get away from engine noise.

There will always be a bit of friction between user groups. There is sometimes even a bit of bad feeling between runners and walkers, for example. But we can live with that and try to work around it. But motor traffic in otherwise quiet, off-road locations is completely at odds with every other activity.



Colin said he was out on the Howgills alone, in mist, very quiet, when he came across a single deep wheel track. He was appalled and had an instinctive feeling of hatred. He did not particularly like the boot prints alongside, but the wheel track hit him a great deal harder. The benefit of holding this conference was to make him think hard to try to explain why he had that feeling. Inside, he felt intuitively, "no way should that be there!" The explanation was reasonably clear. The mountain bike is a machine. Real respect and love for the wilderness comes from getting away as far as possible from modern society and especially all machines. Although the biker provides the energy, the bike is still a machine, a complex machine compared to the tools of other activities. Modern man worships machines. The machine has become central to the activity and yet is totally unnecessary as a means of journeying through a wilderness activity. Rather than relating to others and to nature, the tendency is towards mastery over nature by means of an efficient machine.

Minutes of the Mountain biking and the environment conference, Ambleside, 1992 (referring a speech by Colin Mortlock, a respected adventure writer)


I do get what you mean but whereas I think I could stand between two reasonable people from the Ramblers and an MTB group and get them to find common ground, the motorised fraternity are on the other side of a chasm. I have worked with horse riders and ramblers, sat around the same table. The ramblers in theory suspicious of anyone who would take horses onto paths that have not seen horses for a long time. Horses, as you know, break up the ground much more than MTBs. And they soon recognised that what they loved about the countryside was basically the same thing. The ramblers finished up as allies of the horse riders there, suggesting other paths that could also be looked at for horse access. If you are out there doing a quiet activity and trying not to mess up the countryside, you should be able to get on with other user groups.

pwa
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby pwa » 10 Aug 2019, 4:15pm

Zulu Eleven wrote:I’ll add, it’s interesting that those opposed so often mention noise, engine noise etc.

I wonder if they would suddenly change their minds if the 4WD/motorcyclists were using silent hybrids/battery powered vehicles?

Of course one of the regular criticisms laid against mountain bikers is that we are too quiet, and as a result we sneak up at speed and spook walkers/horseriders/wildlife

Sometimes you just can’t win, eh?

I can only speak for myself. But for me, the noise is a large part of the problem. Without it? I have wondered about that. Maybe.

MTBers appearing at your shoulder without notice? If they are going slow enough, that should not be a problem. The relative speed makes a big difference there.

I like your reasoned arguments, Zulu.

Mike Sales
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby Mike Sales » 10 Aug 2019, 4:22pm

Zulu Eleven wrote:
Colin said he was out on the Howgills alone, in mist, very quiet, when he came across a single deep wheel track. He was appalled and had an instinctive feeling of hatred. He did not particularly like the boot prints alongside, but the wheel track hit him a great deal harder. The benefit of holding this conference was to make him think hard to try to explain why he had that feeling. Inside, he felt intuitively, "no way should that be there!" The explanation was reasonably clear. The mountain bike is a machine. Real respect and love for the wilderness comes from getting away as far as possible from modern society and especially all machines. Although the biker provides the energy, the bike is still a machine, a complex machine compared to the tools of other activities. Modern man worships machines. The machine has become central to the activity and yet is totally unnecessary as a means of journeying through a wilderness activity. Rather than relating to others and to nature, the tendency is towards mastery over nature by means of an efficient machine.
Minutes of the Mountain biking and the environment conference, Ambleside, 1992 (referring a speech by Colin Mortlock, a respected adventure writer)


Your Mortlock extract sounds like someone constructing a reason for his dislike of bikes. Motivated reasoning.
I know him as a climber. Climbers have stripped the vegetation from many crags and turned the bottom of the crag into a worn area of soil and rock.
If it's tyre tracks that offend, a motor bike or 4WD will make a thorough mess of any mountainside.
The paths left by walkers can be seen from miles away these days.
All mountain users leave at least a trace.
I have heard from a distance the noise made by a motorbike in the hills, a horrible nagging whine. Motors are a pollution of a whole valley and the hills around it with their un-ignorable, alien intrusion.
I wonder how much of machinery Mortlock eschews? Pitons, krabs, friends, ice axe, boots. All leave their mark on the hills. Try climbing any popular rock route. You do not need to look for the holds: they are all polished and rounded.

I think the noise of motors makes them an intrusion too far.

reohn2
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Re: The Green Lanes Blog

Postby reohn2 » 10 Aug 2019, 4:29pm

The problem with 4x4's and offroad motorcycles IMO is the damage they cause which is gross,I've seen some tracks turned into deeply rutted quagmires due solely to the use of these powerful offroad vehicles.
It can rightly be said that anyone traversing wild country is causing damage to the environment,whether they be walking horseriding or cycling but compared to 4x4's and motorcycles the damage is minimal.
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