Walkers rally on off-roaders

More than one hundred countryside campaigners called on the Peak District National Park Authority to get tough on off-roading at a rally last weekend.

Countryside lovers of all ages joined Friends of the Peak District for its Take Back the Tracks protest at Stanage Pole, on Saturday, July 9.

Mountain bikers, horse riders, dog walkers and ramblers young and old walked along Long Causeway to show their solidarity against 4x4s and motorbikes carving up green lanes in the Peak District. The event was filmed by TV and documentary film crews.

Anne Robinson, chair of the Campaign for National Parks, sent a message to the Peak District National Park Authority, which is meeting to review its policy about off-roading on Friday, July 15.

She said: “Just managing the damage caused by off-roading is not good enough. We want a pro-active approach not a reactive one. Use all your powers from a total ban to limited access by permit. Stop off-roading on all the routes that can’t sustain use by 4x4 and trail bikes, whether or not they are damaged. And you can start with Long Causeway and the Roych.”

Lord Roy Hattersley – former Friends of the Peak District president, and Great Longstone resident – also sent a message of support.

He said: “You have my whole-hearted support. Indeed, thanks to the desecration of Chertpit Lane, I doubt if there is anybody from Great Longstone who is not totally behind you. However, we are not in the fight to take back the tracks just to keep life tranquil in our own ‘back yards’.

“We are battling to save the park for visitors as well as residents, future generations as well as those of us who are lucky enough to live in the Peak now.”