THEY set out vital guidelines for cyclists and organisers of mass biking rides to use the New Forest safely and responsibly.
Now cycling groups, community organisations and conservation charities are drawing up blueprints to transform two documents enshrining rules enabling riders to enjoy using the the Hampshire National Park while protecting wildlife and communities living there.
Organisations are thrashing out amendments to the Cycle Event Organisers Charter and the Cycling Code of Conduct setting out advice and rules covering everything from road and animal safety measures to ensuring participants of mass events keep residents up to date with their plans and contribute to the New Forest Trust which funds conservation schemes protecting the area’s flora and fauna.
More than 20 groups met for an opening meeting coordinated by the New Forest National Park Authority to discuss initial plans which organisations declared was “very positive”.
National Park community and visitor services manager Nigel Matthews said: “Agreeing the revisions to the code of conduct and of agreeing how organisations can work together to gain a wide scale acceptance of the advice and best practice recommendations will take some time but it was good to see such a positive tone at this first meeting.”
Groups contributing include the New Forest Association, the Commoners Defence Association, the New Forest Equestrian Association, the Forestry Commission, the New Forest Tourism Association and the police.
Biking groups included British Cycling, the Cyclist’s Touring Club (CTC), Sustrans and the Cycle Working Group.
New Forest District Council public events and safety advisory group member James Knight said; “Despite their different interests there was broad agreement on most of the points raised.”
The group meets again next month [September] to build on its initial discussions and focus on the draft cycle event organiser’s charter.
Both documents are available to view online at newforestnpa.gov.uk.