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 Post subject: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:37 am 
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Thanks to TRF member Clayton Brook for putting me on the trail of this environmentalist. I'm going to see if I can get some of his published papers on the subject, but this is an article from the website of SVEMO, the Swedish equivalent of the ACU. Sweden is one of the most environmentally-conscious countries in the world and their thinking on the subject is way ahead of the rest, so we can but hope the rest of the world (including the PDNP and the BBNPA) will heed it eventually (sorry about the tortured English that follows courtesy of Google Translate)...

New knowledge can turn upside down in the environmental debate and biodiversity. According to Nils Ryrholm, professor of zoology at the University of Gävle, forming the engine tracks a refuge for endangered species - plants and animals that are endangered in Sweden. By extension, thus becomes the motor pathways an environmental resource for the community and the country.

Get associate in the current situation motorsport with biodiversity and environmental conservation but recent studies show that they can go together very well.

- In the biological context, we talk about continuous disturbance, that no single plant can completely take over and dominate in this environment. For continuous noise, a variety of different plants and a myriad of different animals live - just like on the old small-scale agricultural land, says Nils Ryrholm, professor of zoology at the University of Gävle.

In prehistoric times was the disturbance of large rooting animals, then by our ancestors when they became farmers. Nowadays, this small-scale soil disturbance ceased completely in the industrial production landscape and therefore have a substantial portion of our natural and cultural heritage very unlikely to survive in the heavily used environments that dominate the landscape today. However, there are still some islands where there is still more or less continuous soil disturbance - such as the motor pathways with active clubbing.

Biodiversity is important

In a future with considerably more expensive (fossil) energy, this biological diversity also contribute to human welfare in ways we can not see right now. Both the Swedish government and the European Union has begun to come to realize the potential value of biodiversity and have begun to pay increasing amounts for contributing to diversity conservation.

Most of us do not think about such things as purification of air and water is done is by living organisms. Although fruit and veg would either not

access to all or be terribly expensive if not the industrious little insects done the job (s) for us. Although a large number of other things that we take for granted that we get for free is dependent on functional biodiversity, and we usually do not miss until the resource has been damaged or destroyed continues Nils Ryrholm.

- Motor Clubs can become a very important and relatively cheap resource for maintaining the biodiversity that Sweden has pledged to preserve. The compounds that can create, preserve or even enhance high biological value should be able to get support from the Conservancy for this, which can be a great financial help for these clubs. In addition, the motor pathways that are increasingly seen as an environmental resource of people dealing with biodiversity issues, which can lead to entirely new forms of cooperation in society, says Nils Ryrholm.

Swedish Motorcycle and Snowmobile Federation

In Sweden organized those who want to train and compete with motorcycle and snowmobile in Swedish Motorcycle and Snowmobile Federation (Svemo). Svemo working since 2011 with: "Program for Biodiversity - Power Line as an environmental resource." There, motor paths, club activities and the runtime's important for rare species to be strengthened and clarified.

In Svemo organized around 300 engine courses with a total area of approximately 3000 hectares of disturbed soil and sandy soil. The majority of the courses location and acreage are already documented. Most of the tracks serve as refuges for biodiversity in an otherwise increasingly depleted landscape. A motor court often have a structure that is very well suited for creating rich environments. Most courses have topographical differences that make the formation of embankments in different directions, which creates opportunities for a varied biodiversity - during both wet and dry years. The courses are often in well-drained soil and neither fertilizer or pesticides are used here, which automatically creates good conditions for flora and fauna.


Many of the gravel paths are worn continuously, giving it to many plants important contribution of minerals and nutrients through the dust that is spread around the track. For safety and needs of audiences term means that large areas around the trails must be kept open, which benefits the species of plants and animals that are dependent on the sun reaches down to the ground and can heat it up. Adjacent to the majority of courses are also ponds, which favors species associated with aquatic environments, such as amphibians.

A motor court can hold very high conservation values ​​and serve as a refuge for biodiversity. This diversity is reduced or disappears the day driving and the disturbance of the land ceases. In other words: closed paths involve a loss for nature conservation and national nature conservation.

Work with management plans have been initiated in consultation with experts, clubs and agencies. County Administrative Board of Västmanland with Arboga Municipality was the first to realize the potential of the project and has LONA contribution of 35 000 SEK supported Svemo to disseminate knowledge and further develop the qualities of the race track in the municipality.

More about biodiversity and other public benefits that motorcycle, and snowmobile sport contributes to the community you can read in Svemo Sustainability.


Swedish Motorcycle and Snowmobile Federation (SVEMO) brings together all who want to train and compete with the motorcycle and snökoter. The Association was formed in 1935 and currently consists of 550 clubs with a total of 125,000 members throughout Sweden.



If you didn't get all of that (!), he's saying that the localised small-scale disturbance of the topsoil caused by the passage of motorcycles through the countryside can create a valuable micro-habitat for marginal species that in previous history had a niche where large animals disturbed the soil and/or small scale human agricultural activity did the same.

We are only just beginning to realise the importance of biodiversity and marginal species...both plant and insect. We may not realise how important some of them are to our own well-being until they are gone...by which time it will be too late.

Think of the huge number of small plants that there are on the average green lane, and how much wildlife there is in the associated banks and hedges...then imagine the lot engulfed in brambles and nettles with all the little plants squeezed out.


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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:03 am 
That reminds me of a lost byways and highways talk that we went to in the eco-enclave of Totnes. We were midlly surprised to find we had an honoury mention as research had shown that our passing and mild disturbance of soils on a remote byway had created a perfect glow worm habitiat in the adjacent verges and hedgerows.

Is there more than one Clayton Brooks or have you been to Devon without saying hello?


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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:31 am 
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I had a call from Clayton Brooks, who had seen the Swedish professor on Motors TV.

He'd done an environmental impact assessment on the Swedish round of the WEC, and it was all positive.

I know the Natterjack Enduro in Hants is held on a SSSI, and the event must take place every year to preserve the microhabitat (the bikes' passage along the track creates a 'linear clearing' which lizards etc use to bask in on sunny days).

Likewise there's a water snail that lives on Salisbury Plain which is dependent upon the passage of tracked vehicles to distribute its eggs from puddle to puddle. Presumably mammoths used to do the job.


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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:52 pm 
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Very Interesting Richard………needs building on if we are going to make use of it. The Natterjack in a sssi in particular. 8-)

Between you and JP1st the interlectual level of this so called "broken" forum is at A*. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:07 pm 
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The sad thing is Mike that the environmental debate in this country has been hi-jacked by people who just hate anything to do with engines, or, indeed economic activity in any form.

The UK's largest on-shore oil field is on the Isle of Purbeck in one of the most environmentally-sensitvbe areas of the country. Outside its perimeter fence its environmental impact has been nil. There's an RSPB site near Nottingham on a well-head where they use fracking techniques to get the last of the oil out...and not incidents or pollution have ever been reported.

With a bit of common sense we could make room for everything we want to do: it just needs careful management and common-sense.

In Gloucestershire there was always a huge outcry whenever someone wanted to dig a gravel pit...but people were paying £ millions for holiday homes on the edge of flooded old gravel pits once they were re-branded as the Cotswold Water Park, and some of the other pits were turned into lovely nature reserves.

I'd like an explanation for it other than insanity, but I can't think of one.


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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Er...we are bikers....wanton and dangerous individuals... But in packs a public menace.... Run to the hills !(once they have been TRO'd of course)


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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:15 pm 
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mike Irving wrote:
Very Interesting Richard………needs building on if we are going to make use of it. The Natterjack in a sssi in particular. 8-)

Between you and JP1st the interlectual level of this so called "broken" forum is at A*. :D

You mean intellectual , sorry Mike, could not resist... D MINUS ! Yup Nobody likes a smartarse...


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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Joel wrote:
mike Irving wrote:
Very Interesting Richard………needs building on if we are going to make use of it. The Natterjack in a sssi in particular. 8-)

Between you and JP1st the interlectual level of this so called "broken" forum is at A*. :D

You mean intellectual , sorry Mike, could not resist... D MINUS ! Yup Nobody likes a smartarse...



b*gg*r i've been rumbled

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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:50 pm 
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A slight move sideways but.......

In the Radio Times this week, Countryfile claim they are proud of their impartiality and, maybe, on the whole this is true.
But they have always avoided pretty much anything to do with vehicles and enjoying yourself....until last night!!!!!!
A strong emphasis on having fun taking part in hill climbs, albeit on country roads, not byways.
Also John Craven chuntering around the IOM on a Bantam (to re-live his youth).

Is this something we can exploit to our advantage? Are they really editorially independent?
Could they be persuaded to do an unbiased report on our activities without being hijacked by our enemies?

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 Post subject: Re: Trail riding is good for the environment...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:57 pm 
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I'm afraid I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them.

They did one on the Peak District, but it was very selective despite the best efforts of our friend (and now chairman) Jack Knight.

The worst thing was, they were talking about 4x4s on the lanes of the Peak District as a voice-over of film shot at an 'off-road' course in Milton Keynes, where pits had been dug and obstacles constructed with the express aim of getting vehicles stuck so people could practice recovery techniques. The commentary said "these 4x4 drivers have paid a farmer so they can trash his field"...with the suggestion that ordinary driving had created massive pits and ruts. But you could see the various earthmovers that had been used to construct the course in the background.

What a farce.

I started a thread on it on the Countryfile website forum, and the whole forum got taken down later, but only after about a million posts from folk slagging them off.


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