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 Post subject: New fencing and gates blocking trails in Hainault forest!!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:57 pm 
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New to site, hi all.

I've been riding Hainault forest for a good few years and just came across some new gates and fencing going in.

Work is not finished but gates are in place, posts for fencing are all in place, half way down the trail more posts and 1 other gate so far, possibly more by the looks of the posts that have been put in.

I assume there has been no public notice about these major works going on?
There are no notices where the gates have been installed.
It effectively blocks off part of the forest to anyone on a bike or horse etc, on foot will be the only way.
These are very small gates, no way to get a bike through it! But with a gate at top of hill and probably one at the bottom or half way down it would make riding it pointless as you will have to lift your bike over at either end!!

Looks horrible, these gates have spoilt the look of the forest and blocks off a very nice bit of single track I've been using for many years :cry:
Actually more than 1 trail is blocked off now.

I spoke to someone that works on the park side of the forest, they didn't know this was going on.
So this is the Woodland Trust I assume that is doing this!

Pinch-Gates would be a more friendly option IMO and there are several in use already, at least that stops anything big!

Very sad to see Hainault public access being restricted for some!

The location is approx. 250 to 300m SSE off Manor Road car park from Miller & Carter, AKA Camelot. The trail is down hill to the East directly off the main fire road hard pack trail.


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 Post subject: Re: New fencing and gates blocking trails in Hainault forest
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:34 pm 
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Are they having a problem with MotoX bikes over there?

Having said that the Woodland Trust do some really weird stuff sometimes. I think its all down to budgeting and needing to spend money


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 Post subject: Re: New fencing and gates blocking trails in Hainault forest
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:12 am 
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MarkL wrote:
Are they having a problem with MotoX bikes over there?

Having said that the Woodland Trust do some really weird stuff sometimes. I think its all down to budgeting and needing to spend money


It's actually being done for cows!!

There use to be a lot more motorbikes riding in there many years ago so that is not the reason now.
Actually they opened up a trail around 8 years ago and bulldozed a few trees to widen a trail and hard surface it for 4x4 and put in step over gates for horses to make it easier for them to get into Hainault from Havering!
This then made it easier for the motor-x and quads to get in!
There were some police bikes after that that helped, but personally I think they should have used the public road to go over to manage Havering, but I feel it was done to make it more like Havering, horse park to some extent which had a lot of fencing added and gates giving horses open access to the forest, but anyone else has to open gates to get around some of what were the best trails.
Of course Havering is again public access, but when very old trails are lost to fencing and gates for horses it lost that natural forest feel. Now the same is happening to Hainault but for cows!

Moving forward to today, some of the external fencing has gone either through management or vandalism, not sure which, this makes it easier for horses to get into Hainault even without the purpose built track.
This has made it easier for motorbikes and quads to get in also which I've told them about.

But the reason for the gates is to extend the area of the forest already used for longhorn cows!
Only one gate I've seen I could get through once the fencing is finished. But you can't get through and have to turn around and come out the way you went it!
Either that or lift your bike over. Most of the fencing is upper chest height, and the gates also, would be hard for most.

Some of the fencing is only for 6 months of the year, but the very small gates used stop you in your tracks, so foot access only.
Most of the posts and all the gates are bright galvanized metal and looks bad, spoils the view etc!

The thing is this land was saved back in 1903 and most of the large areas of forest were chopped and turned into farm land. This land was purchased for the people, the public if you will, and now to me at least it looks and feels more like a farm with these cattle being introduced.
I know this happened in WWII but it shouldn't be happening today IMO.

Woodland Trust already had 2 large areas with cows, one near Romford road end, the other at the edger of the other side of the forest near Havering, so why fence off even more but in the middle of the forest.

I also don't feel proper public notice was given, I've been on the Redbridge conservation email list for many years. Redbridge were unaware of this work going ahead when I spoke to them.
Apparently there were 2 meetings that public could attend, but doubt enough effort was made to include local and other members of the public before gates and fencing was installed.
No posters were put on the start of the trails being gated, only put up in the car park. As I don't use the car parks I was never going to see that, and I was riding there for the previous 6 weekends.
But I've spoken to several walkers and they also were not aware of this work going ahead.
Big changes, but perhaps not as big effort to advertise those changes!

In saying that the guy I've spoken to at Woodland Trust is not the usual rubber stamp breed, seems very genuine. And I'm all for rare breed cattle being saved, just wish it wasn't in the middle of Hainault forest and ruined the natural look, feel and flow of it maybe forever.


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 Post subject: Re: New fencing and gates blocking trails in Hainault forest
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:32 am 
Posts: 9
Rode Hainault yesterday, and the accumulated get hard core has been laid. A number of main trails are now less interesting and wider. Probably more family friendly. No sign of cows yet. The workers I've spoken with confirmed cows coming.


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