Friday 4 February 2011

Trouble in the Trees

Our coverage of forest sell off issues continues. Last week, how locking up the generally open forestry commission car parks will prevent us Bristolians from driving out of town to engage in casual sex with complete strangers.

This week, the mountain bikers join in. No, not with the casual sex with van drivers -they are too muddy and dress strange-  but with the sell off.

This time, it is the Bristol Trails Group, the people who build and maintain the MTB trails in Ashton Court, 50 acre wood, Leigh Woods and nearby, complaining that this will mean that most of the woods will be closed off to them. The problem is liability insurance, more than anything else. Who wants to pay for the insurance for letting bicycles in. Far more profitable to turn it over to private shooting facilities instead, for important people. This will ruin the plans to have a mountain bike centre near Bristol. While we obviously don't engage in any such actions ourselves, every MTB-er who cycles over to Ashton Court not only means one less car on the M4 heading to Wales, it provides entertainment for us in the city to see these people coming home again covered in mud.

We note the Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean will be appearing at a meeting in Coleford, at 7pm tonight. This sell off matters as much to Bristol as it does to the Forest of Dean, so attendance there may be fun.

We also note that there is a public consultation on the proposals, a consultation which invites feedback. And what is the address for feedback?
Forestry Commission England
620 Bristol Business Park
Coldharbour Lane
BS16 1EJ
By our estimate, that is just over the Recognised Pedestrian Route from the UWE campus. If some ukuncut/no-to-tuition-fee-rises/no-to-forest-sell-off-event were to take place up there one weekday afternoon, it could be, well, entertaining.

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