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Thread: stalkers in the woods - i'm a mountainbiker

  1. #1

    stalkers in the woods - i'm a mountainbiker

    Basically i ride 'downhill' mountain bikes, we have a little know about track deep in some woods, on as far as we know FC land - the woods has FC signage on entrance.

    walking up the fire road to our spot, its about a 1.5 mile walk from the car park deep into the woods. 3 4x4's pass us. we get to the mtb track we've built and we can see the 4x4s on the bottom fire road, they begin shooting, we ignore it and carrying on riding - they must have seen us. about 3 hours later one of them comes up to us telling us we shouldn't be there as its private shooting ground and that we must leave immediately.

    we obliged, not wanting to get shot.

    i have heard shooting in the area before, but on the private land on the other side of the river, pretty sure they where using shot guns to get pheasants at that time.

    also one of them had keys to the padlock to access the fireroad.

    however, i'm not sure they were ligit.

    i have often seen horse riders in the vicinity, i know they would need a permit to ride on the land, they would know any shooting boundaries?

    there is no boundary, fence, markers, lines nothing

    there is also zero signage (another riding spot we go to has a shooting ground next to it - maristow estate in the plym valley, they have loads of signage in there)

    i'm pretty sure they were deer stalking, they had rifels with sights (not shotguns)

    does anyone have a clue about permits/licenses required? or can share any insight?

    i imagen we scared off any game anyway, being brightly dressed and on big, bright, loud mountain bikes.

  2. #2
    Hi Orangesrule,

    It'll be a tough one to discuss without further information on the specific area. Not all areas are entirely public. If the people you saw with rifles and shotguns were accessing via a locked gate, on FC land, it is likely that they do have all the necessary paperwork. I at least hope that they do!

    I'm not going to be able to help you too much with this one - being a detached northern lad. But it is likely that you'll need to surrender a bit more information for a useful response to be given.



    P.S. It is a general rule of the forum that anyone wishing to post must make their first an introduction. Granted, it appears that you have no interest in deer stalking beyond how it affects your pushbike, it may still be worthwhile.

  3. #3
    I had 3 woodlands that were well used by soft MTB types and walkers with bobbly hats and even friggin husky sled teams but i usually had been out and home again before the had breakfast and they were long gone in the evening. What really hacked me off was the RAF helicopters searching for the MTB types with legs up thier backs and teeth embedded in rocks.... Thing is the MTB 's don't go up mountains and half the time they are pushing them through trees...Love the lycra tho!!

  4. #4
    Have you ever looked at an Ordanance Survey map? The tracks marked in green, on mine, denote a right of public access, the black dots and dashes denote tracks, but they are tracks without public access rights.

    What makes you think you have a right of access onto this land?

    I find it hard to believe that shooting carried on if you were in danger of being in the firing line! No sensible stalker wants there to be a tragic accident, even if you were there illegally. Most of people that stalk in the UK have land across which the public have access. But we all address this by various methods, like shooting at times which the general public are rarely up and about. Unfortunately the public do not always stick to proper public access footpaths, and are liable to wander about on land, often unaware of the damage that they do, or the danger which they could be in. If in doubt ring the owners of the land next door, they will soon tell you who the owners are.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  5. #5
    haha, sadly I do not wear lycra. i don't mind if these guys where ligit, i play with bikes you play with guns you have to do it somewhere. its just that if they weren't and therefore poaching its another matter. like I say surely there would be some signage!?

    there are lots of horse riders on this'd be easy enough to get a gate key?

    i'm going to email the FC just to see what their stance on it is?

    i don't mind being around shotguns, as they have very little range range...rifels on the other hand concern me a little.

    (oh and the mtb do go up mountains when we can...did 2 weeks in the alps this summer, sadly we have nothing like that in the southwest)

  6. #6
    i am sure deer get used to the interlopers in the woods instead of stalking around on tippy toes i have considered donning bright clobber and making a puffing noise as i jog round lol . on one wood we stalk we actually put estate signs up to stop access most must be illiterate !!!

  7. #7
    sounds like they are legit to me,they had keys to access the road they obviously knew where they were and they did approach you to tell you that you should not be there! if they were not legit they'd have been off like a shot. these lads and or land owner are probably expecting a visit off the police because people that think they have the right to be there generally phone the police to complain straight away,why did you not if you thought they were up to no good? you have said "our spot" and "the track we've built" and you don't know the land owner for sure? trespass is a civil offence and you've left when told to do so thats OK but building a track could make it aggravated trespass...... a criminal offence!

  8. #8
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but if its a footpath, walkers are allowed but bikes are not; if its a bridleway, walkers and horses are allowed but bikes are not; if a landowner makes a specific for mountain bikes, then bikes are allowed if the trail is not already designated a bridle way or footpath. I assume that this "mtb track we've built" is a either a green lane or specific cycle trail built or authorised by the FC? If not then whoever told you that you shouldn't be there is presumably correct. As for whether the shooters themselves should be there, the FC often leases shooting rights when it is the landowner, or if the FC is a tenant then the actual landowner may still own the shooting rights. I don't think there is any obligation to put up signs as FC land is still technically private (FC is a landowner or tenant) and not land with a public right of access, although they may in practise often turn a blind eye to public access.

  9. #9
    Hi oranges rules i am from plymouth where were you riding was it cann woods or some where else? I do know the guy who does fc stalking there and a couple other areas around.

  10. #10
    it wasn't cann woods (i know that area very well and know the game keeper over there), it was over near bere alston. sorry im not going to get in an arguement in the rights and wrongs about having a small trail on this land, there are no built features, just merely a a track cleared from brash. there are enduro tracks in the same woods very near by, this is hardly the same thing.
    Last edited by orangesrule; 03-01-2011 at 23:57.

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