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New Forest sportive cancelled after Forestry England threatens legal action

Beyond New Forest event had been due to take place this weekend but agency says its permission is needed for events on off-road tracks

A sportive due to take place in the New Forest next weekend has been cancelled after Forestry England threatened legal action against the organisers.

Some 500 riders had been due to participate in the Beyond New Forest sportive on 15 and 16 May, with routes of 62 miles and 100 miles starting and finishing in Exbury.

But the Advertiser & Times reports that the event has now been cancelled after Forestry England which is responsible for off-road tracks within the New Forest, said it would seek an injunction to prevent it going ahead.

A spokesperson for the agency said: “Off-road cycling is only allowed on specific routes in the New Forest and these are shared paths for people to cycle, walk and horse ride on tracks that avoid sensitive wildlife habitats.

“It’s unfortunate that this event was promoted before the organisers had discussions with Forestry England, as land manager’s permission is required for any events or organised group activities on the Forest before taking place.”

The issue of large-scale cycling events within the New Forest has long been a cause of friction, and the cancellation of the sportive comes just four months after a court told Forestry England to get tough on “out of control” cyclists.

> Threat to axe New Forest’s off-road cycle network as court criticises “out of control” cyclists

The agency had been seeking a three-year extension of access to the network of waymarked tracks – including bridleways, gravel tracks and fire roads – from 2021-23.

But the Verderers Court – which dates back to the 13th century and carries out similar functions to a magistrates’ court in relation to certain matters related to the New Forest –only provided a 12-month extension.

In March, one local, Peter Rejchrt, claimed that cyclists were riding on tracks where they are not permitted and also claimed that racing was taking place, although it appears that he may be confused with regard to how apps such as Strava operate,

He said that “a small, but nevertheless significant local and ‘near local’ cohort of cyclists” were ignoring the New Forest Cycling Code of Conduct and were causing damage to the terrain and wildlife habitats.

He claimed: “Technology allows cyclists to conduct races blatantly and flagrantly using apps like Strava, eg the gravel track down from Abbotswell Millennium Stone car park to Latchmore Brook.”

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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38 comments

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zero_trooper | 2 years ago
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One of the stories in the 'Advertiser and Times' was 'New Forest community hall destroyed in overnight blaze'. Can't think who (mob of vengeful cyclists) might getting blamed for that one…

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beyondevents | 2 years ago
13 likes

An old saying "Dont let the truth get in the way of a good story"

The event was cancelled simply because the venue pulled out after pressure was applied by Exbury estates and a suitable large venue (Due to covid) couldnt be found with enough space for 500 riders at short notice.

Nothing else in the original article or this one has any factual basis.

We look forward to seeing you all at a Road Sportive soon, but be quick they are selling out fast, other events are also available.

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Secret_squirrel replied to beyondevents | 2 years ago
0 likes

That was helpful and makes far more sense - thank you.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
3 likes

Is it helpful? The newspaper reports it was cancelled because the Forrestry Comm wanted it to be. Organiser now comes on here and says, no, it is cancelled because the Venue caved to pressure applied by Exbury Estates. Why were they pressurising the venue? Was it Covid even though we have a mass vaccination and reduction of infections to a level where the creepiest man in Office stated "you can now be intimate with friends and family" when describing a hug? Was it local shops stating "you aren't Local"?

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kil0ran replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
1 like

Plenty of previous from locals pressuring venues not to host food stops etc for sportives. Most of the UKCE events now leave from Ellingham House (which isn't even in the New Forest) and there have been problems from time to time running events from the epically-named Gang Warily. Same applies to various village halls used by organisers in the past (Hyde, Minstead, Copythorne)

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to kil0ran | 2 years ago
3 likes

So I'm correct in this assumption then?

//64.media.tumblr.com/ef6da05eddbd1592be7484f53452e241/tumblr_n4ryatzBDr1qdxwb0o1_1280.jpg)

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Zjtm231 replied to beyondevents | 2 years ago
0 likes

Thanks for your post

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Sriracha replied to beyondevents | 2 years ago
3 likes

So is the the newspaper simply inventing quoted speech wholesale, or were the remarks made in reference to a completely different event? Bizarre!

Quote:

A spokesperson for the agency said: “Off-road cycling is only allowed on specific routes in the New Forest and these are shared paths for people to cycle, walk and horse ride on tracks that avoid sensitive wildlife habitats.

“It’s unfortunate that this event was promoted before the organisers had discussions with Forestry England, as land manager’s permission is required for any events or organised group activities on the Forest before taking place.”

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IanMK replied to Sriracha | 2 years ago
3 likes

I think you're right, the paper has confused events and is attributing quotes about other Gravel sportives to the Beyond event? Found this earlier article:

https://www.advertiserandtimes.co.uk/news/organisers-slammed-for-arrangi...

 

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Sriracha replied to IanMK | 2 years ago
4 likes

Oh! And indeed, the same quote appears in that report also:

“Off-road cycling is only allowed on specific routes in the New Forest and these are shared paths for people to cycle, walk and horse ride on tracks that avoid sensitive wildlife habitats.

“It’s unfortunate that this event was promoted before the organisers had any discussions with Forestry England, as land manager’s permission is required for any events or organised group activities on the Forest before taking place.”

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zero_trooper replied to IanMK | 2 years ago
1 like

Thank you IanMK, we'll make a detective/journo out of you yet  1

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S13SFC | 2 years ago
2 likes

Coming from out that way I have to say that if they haven't got permission to use trails and tracks way beforehand then they're mugs.

Even then, they're in no way suitable for mass events.

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
8 likes

“Technology allows cyclists to conduct races blatantly and fragrantly...."

I smell a rat.

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PRSboy | 2 years ago
6 likes

He claimed: “Technology allows cyclists to conduct races blatantly and fragrantly using apps like Strava, eg the gravel track down from Abbotswell Millennium Stone car park to Latchmore Brook.”

Was there a typo, or does he really object to nicely scented cyclists racing?

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Steve K replied to PRSboy | 2 years ago
7 likes
PRSboy wrote:

He claimed: “Technology allows cyclists to conduct races blatantly and fragrantly using apps like Strava, eg the gravel track down from Abbotswell Millennium Stone car park to Latchmore Brook.”

Was there a typo, or does he really object to nicely scented cyclists racing?

It's the latest feature on strava - subscribers only, though.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to PRSboy | 2 years ago
0 likes

Was there a typo,

It's Road.cc, what do you think? Although the newspaper article has given me a new word which I thought was a mistake - presentment. 

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TheBillder replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
3 likes

Is presentment where you really hate something before you've even experienced it?

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mdavidford replied to PRSboy | 2 years ago
0 likes

They've obviously been shopping at Ribble.

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/customcolour-scented/

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kil0ran replied to PRSboy | 2 years ago
2 likes

Abbotswell to Latchmore? Don't make me laugh. That's this segment

https://www.strava.com/segments/7570682

(the clue is in the title)

Far more fun riding up it. It's heavily rutted and potholed and zero technical challenge beyond that. 

219 recorded Strava efforts this year. 

Oh and why is it rutted and potholed? That'll be because of the dirty great private house at the bottom with three cars and a horsebox.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to kil0ran | 2 years ago
1 like

Although almost 30 mph down a gravelly potholed path shared with walkers.......

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bobrayner replied to PRSboy | 2 years ago
1 like

We all remember the scratch-and-sniff editions of Cycling Weekly in the 1980s. The scratch-and-sniff for Laurent Fignon's hairspray was particularly evocative.

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Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
7 likes

Is there more to this story than there seems?  What kind of half arsed organiser takes peoples money without securing the route first?

Also that Peter Rejchrt guy appears to be be a runner who has active park run and Strava profiles.  As a research academic ironically he appears to have a bent for anti-cycling anecdata.  Smells like selfishness to me.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like

I'm sure his running along the off road sections is not damaging any paths or anything.....

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Nikonitis replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like

probably the same people who organised the Winter Wonderland experience in Bakewell 

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AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
1 like

Anyone in the know enlighten me on how much was on their private shared paths and how much was on the public ones. Also how can they petition the council to ban an event on open public roads?

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Secret_squirrel replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
4 likes

I'd ike to know this too.  Presumably quite a lot otherwise a re-route would have been an option, unless they couldnt clear that with CC in time.

Either poor organisation or something fishy going on.

 

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fwhite181 replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
4 likes

It's the New Forest, either an MP or a local councillor discovered the route was going to pass near/through their land and decided that sort of thing ought not be allowed to happen...

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IanMK replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
0 likes

Actually there was a late re-route last year due to flooding. The sportive was early March and was changed from 63 miles to 72 miles, if I recall correctly.

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IanMK replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
4 likes

I did the Beyond New Forest Sportive last year. It has obviously changed a lot (the start point in Ferndown wasn't ideal and has been sensibly moved) but it was all on public roads. Really not sure about this story.

 

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brooksby replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
1 like

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