This afternoon the BCC were made aware of yet more uninvited visitors by a friend of the club, Clare. Thankfully we were able to send some members (Ben and Ben) to politely explain the current situation and ask them to leave. The visitors left but not before making a valid point; although they had seen the existing signs (explaining that the site was for BCC members only) none of the signs explained that the area was in fact closed. A mute point perhaps as these were not members, but not an irrelevant one. So Maria, Ian and I set off this evening to put up some additional signs along side the existing signs (see earlier post), we hope that together these will give sufficient information.
It has become clear that despite our best efforts to inform people of the closure of the site and the reasons behind this they keep on riding. This simply isn't tolerable given our obligations and so has forced us to take quite drastic measures: We have unmarked every course, and pulled up every single feature rendering the entire site un-rideable. This is not a knee jerk reaction but rather a considered solution to something that could jeopardise everything we are working towards. 90 % of the trails that exist at the allotment are based upon the lie of the land with the odd man made feature thrown in to spice up the trail - however it is the features that get the most attention from newbies and non-regular riders, and so by removing these and making the rest of the trails un-rideable we are removing the very thing that is attracting those with no desire to contribute in a constructive manner.
The good news is that we can look forward to re-building these trails (as planned) one by one to full IMBA standards without the fear that we will have lost the site before getting started. Thankfully the Longleat estate are even further into the felling of phase one, and so are also preventing large sections of trails from being ridden by default.
Our goal is to safeguard the future of the area not to prevent people from riding for the sake of it, but given some peoples lack of respect (when clearly informed) we have had no alternative but to take this approach.
Longleat trails are dead, long live Longleat trails!