It’s not the end for riding at Still Woods in Bristol, but here is the latest news from Martin Astley:
Bristol Uni, who own the land have closed the woods to cycling with immediate effect. This has come as a complete surprise to everyone as there was no consultation with users. The MTB community have pulled together over the last couple of days and contacted the woodland managers. It would appear that they have closed the woodland for a variety of reasons. Trail building has got out of hand with unsafe features being built over public rights of way, littering has always been a problem in Still woods (whether this is caused by bikers is debatable). The University is also concerned that with the unchecked spread of new trails, the woodland Ecosystem is in danger. Finally and most importantly the Uni are concerned about the safety of riders in the woods which leads to obvious Liability issues.
The good news is that this need not necessarily mean the end of biking in Still Woods. Those involved in trying to save the woods urge everyone to take heed of the signs and DO NOT RIDE IN THE WOODS UNTIL IT IS AUTHORISED. Pissing off the land managers is the last thing we want to do at the moment. The University are willing to work with local riders and come up with a management solution for the woods. This will mean trail building will be restricted and controlled to probably 3 main lines, all riders must have there own insurance, this may require formation of a club of some sort and litter must be controlled.
Still Woods is a huge part of the Mountainbike scene in Bristol and further afield. It’s situations like this that make you realize how precious our riding spots are. Please help secure the future of riding at Still Woods by keeping out until further notice. To keep up to date on what’s happening with the woods and to show your support join the Facebook group “Save Still Woods”. Hopefully with a bit of team work and a few compromises we can keep Still Woods open as a riding spot for the future.