TRF:Hi Brian, thanks for taking time to chat to us. What is your role in Northumbria TRF?
Brian:I am our Rights of Road officer (I’m actually not a big fan of the officer bit!). I’ve been a member of Northumbria TRF for about two years, at our last AGM I put my hand up and volunteered and now here I am. When I joined the club I began to research the situation with NERC and the ‘anti’ groups who are still pushing to ban any sort of MPV use on unsurfaced roads. As an individual you have little chance of fighting back so being part of an organisation like the TRF is really important. My role in the club is to make sure that I know of any planned TRO’s, the condition of our network and importantly, communicating info to and from our members. Like this voluntary restraint in the north of the county for lambing season.
TRF:Northumberland is the most northern of the TRF groups. What’s the riding like up your way?
TRF:So it’s fair to say, that whilst you have a lot of land on your doorstep, Spring time would bring you into contact with a lot of local farmers and livestock? How do you work to minimise impact at this time of year?
Brian:We come into contact with many other trail users that include farmers and their families, as well as local residents. Some byways go through peoples front yard and we encourage members to ride with particular care in these locations. For the most part this contact has been largely positive. I’ve been offered cups of tea and help when one of the group has broken down, especially from farmers. Making a living from the land has never been an easy job and I’ve got a huge amount of respect for farmers in Northumberland, many of whom are tenant farmers. Hill farming must be next to being a trawler man in terms of being a tough way to make a living. This year Northumbria TRF have taken particular steps to identify sensitive areas that we are encouraging voluntary restraint during the months of April and May. These include:
TRF:I guess it’s important for trail riders to remember that the field of cute lambs they are riding through is actually someones livelihood and business.
TRF:Thanks Brian. Enjoy your riding in the spring sunshine!