It seems that despite massive support, this campaign came too late to stop the bulldozers moving in. As you can see from the above pictures, the site is a right state at the moment, and I hope there are plans by the University to clear it up before any further development takes place.

It's pretty tempting at this point to write off the attempts to communicate with the University and go back to hiding our trails in the woods and having them torn down every few years. Let's not do this - the University have told me and Hamish that they are willing to work with mountain bikers, and if we can sort the details out, there's potential to have a really good riding venue there that everyone can enjoy.

We've started work on a proposal where riders set up a club, pay a lease to the University, get the building OK'ed with the University and the riders (with input from professionals) still get a degree of control over what they ride. Ian Warby, the CTC's off-road representative and the mastermind behind on of the UK's original DH venues, Aston Hill, has got in touch with us and we should be meeting up wth him to get advice on the way forward. Once the proposal is completed I'll link to it from here and give you a chance to have your comments heard.

There are loads of issues we will have to work through. Can we build tracks that will keep riders and the Uni happy? Who's going to fund this? What if people don't want to join a club? How can we stop local residents thinking of mountain bikers as a nuisance? We're starting to thrash out some of these issues, with the help of people who have been there and come out the other side. It's not going to be easy. But in the words of indie band Stereolab: "I say there are still things worth fighting for".

Posted by Antony on Wednesday, 4 November 2009
categories: edit post


Post a Comment

Save Still Woods

On 29 October 2009, Bristol's only purpose-built downhill mountain biking venue, Still Woods, a.k.a the Plantation, was closed to mountain bikers by land owners Bristol University.

Help us work with the University to ensure the woods future as a respected mountain bike venue for all.