Advocacy files – Wimble Holme Hill

Wimble Holme Hill – Ride Sheffield with Eastern Moors Partnership
TYPE OF PROJECT
Bridleway maintenance
OVERVIEW
The bridleway around Wimble Holme Hill was narrow and, owing to the underlying geology and north-facing aspect, slippery for much of the year, with a tendency to slide down the hill.
BRIEF HISTORY
Owing to Ride Sheffield’s close links with Eastern Moors Partnership, we became aware at a stakeholder’s meeting that plans were afoot to improve the bridleway. Commonly, different user groups will have very different views as to what constitutes improvement – and it soon became apparent that there was going to have to be a good deal of compromise.
Some of the horse riding fraternity were keen to see the path bench cut to two metres width in order for all riders to be able to enjoy
it. Mountain bikers naturally preferred a narrower option to retain some of the technical difficulty.
Land manager Danny Udall was concerned that any attempt to increase the path width to two metres would have a considerable landscape effect, making the path visible from a great distance. His rationale in the end was that, just as not every trail is rideable by every mountain biker, so Wimble Holme Hill had to be considered an extreme challenge suitable only for experienced horse riders on capable mounts.
WORK DONE
Over the course of several weekends and supervised by experienced Eastern Moors Partnership staff, Ride Sheffield volunteers helped to barrow tons of crushed gritstone onto the path and build wooden revetments. The resulting path is now a popular means of access between Totley Moor and Blackamoor.
LESSONS LEARNED
– User groups have to compromise in order to achieve a workable solution.
– Many land managers have a growing need for volunteer labour, which user groups need to be aware of.
REVIEW
Five years later, the trail is still in excellent condition and regularly used by mountain bikers, walkers and the occasional adventurous horse-rider. It is just beginning to show signs of wear and tear and Ride Sheffield will shortly offer further volunteer labour in order to keep it in top condition.