Trail Riding - social value and responsibility

The value of Trail Riding and the TRF should not be measured in economic value alone. There is a wider social value that goes way beyond the economics.

For all in society to thrive and prosper we must all take responsibility for our behaviour, actions, and their impact on others as both individuals and as organisations. We need to give back, show tolerance and understanding towards others and contribute to the communities that we are all part of. Trail Riders respect this and have been committed to doing just this for decades. 

Better for access

Green Roads represent a unique and special asset that enables us all to better access the wonderful countryside around us, no matter how they choose to explore and enjoy it. Like other public highways these shared routes need to be maintained for all to responsibly enjoy them. Whilst they are maintainable at public expense, Trail Riders understand the pressure on both resources and budgets that Local Authorities face. Each year Trail Riders and the TRF donate thousands of volunteer hours and substantial funding to maintain the network for the benefit of all. You can see some of that work here.

Many roads remain under-recorded or worse not recorded at all and it is only though the work of a dedicated few who spend hours over historical maps and documentation that these routes get rediscovered. Many routes have been neglected, becoming overgrown and unusable and lost to the public. It is only through the tireless work of volunteers that routes are being re-commissioned for the publics benefit and enjoyment.

Even before the call by government for the digital way-marking of Public Rights of Way, the TRF lead way with its Green Road Map. This public access project has been entirely funded by the TRF and benefits from tens of thousands of volunteer hours by members at no cost to the public purse. Authorities and other user groups have been invited to participate

Better for communities

Trail Riders also know they are lucky to be able to enjoy themselves in the way they do, and that there are those that are less fortunate and that we all need some extra help every now and again. Riders raise thousands of pounds for good causes each year including local charities and community funds.

Beyond this TRF support Police Forces in areas such as rural crime teams and anti-social behaviour. Whilst the illegal antics of a minority who have nothing to do with responsible Trail Riding, the TRF takes on the a responsibility to educate riders on behaviour and legal access.

A recent survey revealed that 92% of rider’s interactions with the public were either neutral or positive, but like everything, we know that for a minority our impact can be negative, however minimal and temporary it might be. We call on them to take a more tolerant and inclusive outlook that respects the vision of Outdoors for All.

Better for business

Rural businesses who are often small and rely on tourism and passing trade face significant challenges. According to the Country Land and Business Association rural tourism accounts for 70-80% of all domestic UK tourism and adds £14.56bn to England and Wales Gross Value Added.  Tourism represents a large portion of their member interests with 39% tourism-focused business. A recent TRF survey revealed that 89% of a riders spend is within these communities.  Learn more about the economic value of Trail Riding. 

Better for the planet

Motorcycling is playing a significant and important role in environmental sustainability. Whilst other forms of transport, the largest source of CO2 emissions in the UK, DEFRA recognise that motorcycling’s impact is practically zero with just 0.4 of transport emissions. By way of contrast, agriculture is responsible for 12%. 

If those traveling to the countryside did so by motorcycle and not by car, CO2 emissions would be more than halved, and just a 10% shift would reduce congestion by 40% and they would be helping protect the very thing they are travelling to visit!

Trail Riders are committed to leaving a long term and positive social impact. Can we do more, must we do more? Absolutely – watch this space.

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