Hi everyone,

As you may be aware 6 months ago TAG wrote a position paper setting out what we saw as the potential management options for MTBing on MoD land around Aldershot. We did this primarily to set our cards out on the table and to better understand MoD’s official position.

We have now had a response from MoD which is attached to the bottom of this post. As you will see, whilst it is not a wholly negative response, it does not significantly move the discussion towards sustainable use of MoD land by MTBers.

So, what are the next steps for TAG – there are three areas we intend to pursue:

  • Continue to be available to the MoD if and when they decide they wish to engage with the MTB users.
  • Provide information to MTBers of any news or information that will encourage sustainable use of the land, for example by promoting the Code of Conduct
  • Act as a key lobby group when the Aldershot Military Lands Byelaw review is undertaken to formally provide submissions advocating legal recognition of cyclist use of the land beyond the current restriction to byeways and made up roads.

Whilst TAG appreciates this isn’t great news, we will continue to pursue the above areas with vigour. We would of course welcome any feedback from MTBers on the position paper and MOD’s response.

Thank you for your support,

TAG

Mountain Biking on the Aldershot Military Land

DIO Response to TAG Paper

 

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Cycling ban on Hankley Common

TAG is disappointed to hear that the MoD has decided to issue a ban on cycling on Hankley Common. Full details can be found at the link below and we urge mountain bikers to follow the following advice if you meet a patrol or LandMarc agent:

  • They have the right to stop you
  • Be polite regardless of provocation
  • If asked to leave the area, then do so (don’t just go round the corner as this is likely to provoke them)
  • If you have an incident at a specific location then don’t return to that location as repeat offending is most likely to result in confiscation
  • If property confiscation occurs then ensure you see their accreditation (military ID or LandMarc ID)
  • Notify TAG and your local councillor of any incident as soon as possible
  • Remember that everyone including the military read the websites, so think about what you post

http://www.surreycommunity.info/elsteadnews/hankley-common/cycling-ban/

We will continue to press for the MoD to recognise mountain biking use of the Aldershot Military Lands – please note that the situation is slightly different on Hankley Common in that the byelaws only allow cycling on bridleways rather than bridleways and fireroads as on the Aldershot Military Lands.

EDIT: Please note, that riding on the bridleways is still permitted.

Riding on military land

When riding on the Defence Estates training areas it is important to be aware of the byelaws that apply to cyclists and how this might affect you. The following is TAG’s considered advice to everyone using the military land for cycling. Please do not mistake the following as legal advice – it is not.

The byelaws mean that it is legal for any member of the Armed Forces (with military ID and of NCO rank or above) or the MoD land managers (LandMarc) to request that you leave the training area; this is at their discretion. There are no rules for this, so if they say go, you go or face the consequences. So if this does happen then leave with good grace and ride somewhere else that day.

Ultimately, the above officers have the right to seize your treasured bike and take it into custody for subsequent crushing. You have no right of appeal or compensation if this happens so don’t escalate any confrontation forcing them to take this step. Generally, any enforcement patrol will start with a warning and then escalate it only if you continue to offend in the same training area.

Should the worst happen, they are required to provide you with a ‘Warning Off’ notice in writing and confirmation that they have confiscated your bike.

Enforcement patrols for the training areas can occur at any time night or day.

So, if you do meet a patrol or LandMarc agent, please remember:

  • They have the right to stop you
  • Be polite regardless of provocation
  • If asked to leave the area, then do so (don’t just go round the corner as this is likely to provoke them)
  • If you have an incident at a specific location then don’t return to that location as repeat offending is most likely to result in confiscation
  • If property confiscation occurs then ensure you see their accreditation (military ID or LandMarc ID)
  • Notify TAG and your local councillor of any incident as soon as possible
  • Remember that everyone including the military read the websites, so think about what you post

Trail Maintenance Day Saturday 28th January

On Saturday 28th January we’ll be at Caesar’s Camp doing a variety of tasks including general trail maintenance and fitting a couple of bridges. Please come and get involved – you’ll need clothes you don’t mind getting dirty in and garden tools (including bow saws if you have one). Special request for long nails / screws if you have any!

Meeting point: The fire road gate near to the junction of the B3013 and the A287 – you’ll be able to park on the fire road (http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=482104&Y=149678&A=Y&Z=115)

Time: 10am

Ceasars Camp, scrub bashing weekend

A chance to work longside local conservation volunteers helping to sustain the Ceasars Camp heathland. Bring sturdy boots and gloves.

Dec 3rd and 4th
Who: Hampshire Conservation Volunteers
Site: Caesars Camp, Long Bottom
Task: Clearing willow and birch scrub from heathland (scrub bashing)
Meeting place: gate off Bourley Road , near Pavilion Hill. 10am
Grid reference: SU 847 511

Sponge Bob (Minley) closed for maintenance

For those who ride the Minley trails, we have been busy with some improvements up there. The work done on “Sponge Bob” now needs to settle for a couple of weeks before it gets ridden so you will find this trail has been closed.

Please avoid this section until re-opened as the trail quality will be so much better if the work is allowed time to bed in. Thanks!