Controversial Wiggle cycle event moves to Matchams after rows in New Forest

Controversial Wiggle cycle event moves to Matchams after rows in New Forest

Controversial Wiggle cycle event moves to Matchams after rows in New Forest

First published in News by

BOSSES behind a controversial series of mass cycling events have been forced to move their base to Matchams after months of controversy in the New Forest.

UK Cycling Events, organisers of the Wiggle rides, was barred from the home of the New Forest Show after a pony round-up on neighbouring land had to be cancelled on safety grounds.

And alternative plans to use Gang Warily recreation centre in Blackfield fell through, leaving the rides homeless.

Now Wiggle has abandoned attempts to retain a base in the Forest and moved to Matchams Leisure Park on the Hampshire-Dorset border.

But cyclists will continue to ride through the Forest, possibly paving the way for another spate of complaints from locals.

A statement from UK Cycling Events said: “The route incorporates the same spectacular scenery of the New Forest National Park, combined with wild animals grazing and picturesque villages.”

Previous Wiggle rides have attracted more than 2,000 entrants. Riders have been accused of using the Forest as a toilet, shouting abuse at people who get in their way and hurtling along narrow country lanes – putting pedestrians and horse riders at risk.

Cyclists have been hit by acts of sabotage, with protesters putting tacks on the road and tearing down signs as tensions escalated. And the move to near Ringwood has failed to placate protesters, including the New Forest Equestrian Association.

Chairman Tony Hockley said: “Matchams can accommodate a couple of thousand cars, so we could be facing events on the same scale as before.”

Peter Roberts, chairman of the New Forest Association, said: “Cyclists will still ride across the Forest in rather large numbers, causing the potential to disrupt working practices.”

Last year a Wiggle event starting from New Park, Brockenhurst, clashed with a pony round-up due to take place on the same weekend.

The round-up was scrapped, prompting claims that cyclists were being given priority over the day-to-day running of the Forest.

As reported in the Daily Echo, organisers of the New Forest Show bowed to public opinion and banned mass cycling events from the site.

And a subsequent application to use Gang Warily resulted in parish leaders drawing up a list of regulations in a bid to protect the public.

Martin Barden, director of UK Cycling Events, said the use of Matchams would result in “no disruption” being caused to Forest residents.

He added: “We have moved to Matchams as the venue offers hard standing parking for all the riders.

“We chose to withdraw from Gang Warily as the decision-making process was taking too long and we wanted to ensure we had enough time to inform residents of our planned route.”

Comments (15)

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9:05am Thu 23 Jan 14

Franks Tank says...

The mysterious Godshill turd only came to light a month after the event.
I thought it had been shown to be a completely fictitious story.
The mysterious Godshill turd only came to light a month after the event. I thought it had been shown to be a completely fictitious story. Franks Tank
  • Score: 3

9:40am Thu 23 Jan 14

StuartMc1 says...

Franks Tank wrote:
The mysterious Godshill turd only came to light a month after the event.
I thought it had been shown to be a completely fictitious story.
Like most of the "stories" blown out of all proportion, if they existed at all.
I'm sure the local business are delighted at all the cycling events that are one by one not going back there this year. Well done Nimbies.
[quote][p][bold]Franks Tank[/bold] wrote: The mysterious Godshill turd only came to light a month after the event. I thought it had been shown to be a completely fictitious story.[/p][/quote]Like most of the "stories" blown out of all proportion, if they existed at all. I'm sure the local business are delighted at all the cycling events that are one by one not going back there this year. Well done Nimbies. StuartMc1
  • Score: 5

9:54am Thu 23 Jan 14

Franks Tank says...

Further more....
The Wiggle ride had been organised and advertised months and months in advance.
The pony round up was organised at short notice deliberately to clash with the cycling event in order to whip up controversy and animosity.
Further more.... The Wiggle ride had been organised and advertised months and months in advance. The pony round up was organised at short notice deliberately to clash with the cycling event in order to whip up controversy and animosity. Franks Tank
  • Score: 8

10:03am Thu 23 Jan 14

Dorset Outsider says...

So equestrian events are perfectly acceptable where lots or cars and lorries turn up, but a few hundred cyclists is wrong? I don't get this mentality, surely the forest is there to be enjoyed by everyone and a mass event is a boost to the area. If individuals are spoiling this by behaving badly, maybe wiggle need more marshals en route?
So equestrian events are perfectly acceptable where lots or cars and lorries turn up, but a few hundred cyclists is wrong? I don't get this mentality, surely the forest is there to be enjoyed by everyone and a mass event is a boost to the area. If individuals are spoiling this by behaving badly, maybe wiggle need more marshals en route? Dorset Outsider
  • Score: 15

11:00am Thu 23 Jan 14

suzigirl says...

So cyclists are accountable at last!
So cyclists are accountable at last! suzigirl
  • Score: -10

1:25pm Thu 23 Jan 14

thisloginprocessisdaft says...

Snotty locals who think they own the forest. Obviously they don't own pubs and restaurants in the area. They'll be the ones out of pocket.

I really don't understand why people hate 2 wheels so much. Motor vehicles don't have priority on our roads, the roads everyone pays for the up keep off whether they own a car or not.
Snotty locals who think they own the forest. Obviously they don't own pubs and restaurants in the area. They'll be the ones out of pocket. I really don't understand why people hate 2 wheels so much. Motor vehicles don't have priority on our roads, the roads everyone pays for the up keep off whether they own a car or not. thisloginprocessisdaft
  • Score: 3

3:21pm Thu 23 Jan 14

bourne free says...

Well done the cycling world for being willing to make things run smoother for the privileged ones in the peoples forest , will the new forest show be at Matchams as well ?
Well done the cycling world for being willing to make things run smoother for the privileged ones in the peoples forest , will the new forest show be at Matchams as well ? bourne free
  • Score: 1

3:32pm Thu 23 Jan 14

ranger_bob says...

bourne free wrote:
Well done the cycling world for being willing to make things run smoother for the privileged ones in the peoples forest , will the new forest show be at Matchams as well ?
Exactly. They will also have to cancel the Boxing Day Point to Point and all future pony drifts because of all of the traffic they generate bringing "chaos" and congestion to the New Forest.
[quote][p][bold]bourne free[/bold] wrote: Well done the cycling world for being willing to make things run smoother for the privileged ones in the peoples forest , will the new forest show be at Matchams as well ?[/p][/quote]Exactly. They will also have to cancel the Boxing Day Point to Point and all future pony drifts because of all of the traffic they generate bringing "chaos" and congestion to the New Forest. ranger_bob
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Thu 23 Jan 14

InkZ says...

I think all the locals should be rounded up once a year and dumped in Matchams.
I think all the locals should be rounded up once a year and dumped in Matchams. InkZ
  • Score: 6

8:21pm Thu 23 Jan 14

catmarel says...

It takes a lot of hard work to look after the forest and traditions have been going for hundreds of years. If there are events no matter how large or small that could effect the forest & it's workings... they should be banned. The forest should be respected by EVERY ONE so we can all enjoy it.
It takes a lot of hard work to look after the forest and traditions have been going for hundreds of years. If there are events no matter how large or small that could effect the forest & it's workings... they should be banned. The forest should be respected by EVERY ONE so we can all enjoy it. catmarel
  • Score: -7

11:31am Fri 24 Jan 14

casualtyofchocolate says...

catmarel wrote:
It takes a lot of hard work to look after the forest and traditions have been going for hundreds of years. If there are events no matter how large or small that could effect the forest & it's workings... they should be banned. The forest should be respected by EVERY ONE so we can all enjoy it.
Ah, so what you're saying is that because fox hunting has been happening for several hundred years, it's OK and should be re-introduced; but because bicycles have only been in general use for the past 200 years, they should be banned! I do wish someone could have explained that to me earlier - would have saved us all a lot of misunderstandings. I'd also missed the fact that because cyclists have only been around for a couple of centuries, they cannot possibly respect their surroundings. Silly me!
[quote][p][bold]catmarel[/bold] wrote: It takes a lot of hard work to look after the forest and traditions have been going for hundreds of years. If there are events no matter how large or small that could effect the forest & it's workings... they should be banned. The forest should be respected by EVERY ONE so we can all enjoy it.[/p][/quote]Ah, so what you're saying is that because fox hunting has been happening for several hundred years, it's OK and should be re-introduced; but because bicycles have only been in general use for the past 200 years, they should be banned! I do wish someone could have explained that to me earlier - would have saved us all a lot of misunderstandings. I'd also missed the fact that because cyclists have only been around for a couple of centuries, they cannot possibly respect their surroundings. Silly me! casualtyofchocolate
  • Score: 1

12:47pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Isosceles says...

One or two cyclists riding together - good.
More than 10 or twenty (and upwards) cyclists riding together, not so good.
One or two cyclists riding together - good. More than 10 or twenty (and upwards) cyclists riding together, not so good. Isosceles
  • Score: 1

7:59pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Yer Tis says...

Franks Tank wrote:
Further more....
The Wiggle ride had been organised and advertised months and months in advance.
The pony round up was organised at short notice deliberately to clash with the cycling event in order to whip up controversy and animosity.
Oh funny I thought it had been held the same weekend in the same area for at at least a couple of hundred years.

Or were the socio-economic history books that cover the history of the New Forest recently altered to clash with a biggots view as well!
[quote][p][bold]Franks Tank[/bold] wrote: Further more.... The Wiggle ride had been organised and advertised months and months in advance. The pony round up was organised at short notice deliberately to clash with the cycling event in order to whip up controversy and animosity.[/p][/quote]Oh funny I thought it had been held the same weekend in the same area for at at least a couple of hundred years. Or were the socio-economic history books that cover the history of the New Forest recently altered to clash with a biggots view as well! Yer Tis
  • Score: 0

3:46pm Tue 28 Jan 14

SCCOMMENT says...

As someone who lives, works & rides in the New Forest I am fed up of the persecution against cyclists & cycling in this area.

1- Both the Wiggle New Forest rides & the pony Drift are events planned far in advance & as public events would require health & safety reports to be submitted in advance so I have no idea how anyone could make the mistake of having them on the same date. According to newforest-life .com the Drift dates were "3 Sep - Latchmoor; 6 Sep - Beaulieu Rd/Iron Arch; 8 Sep - Woodfidley; 8 Sep - Burley Rocks". That then poses two questions. Are the drifts in this area always held in September & if so how did they clash with a cycling event scheduled for early October? Were the Drift dates changed after the Wiggle cycle event was booked at Brockenhurst? Maybe someone who knows could answer what was going on with these date clashes.

Drift 2014 dates as on the Verderers website are 8th May, 18th September, 22rd October, 27th November. These also don't seem to clash with the Wiggle New Forest events so I am unsure how a single year blunder in booking means cyclists cannot use the New Forest for any events ever again?

2- Who runs the new forest national park? is it the Verderers who seem to think they have a god given right to stop specific groups doing anything they disapprove of or is it the Forestry Commission England? I have looked on the Verderers "COMMONS REGISTRATION ACT 1965, THE NEW FOREST", the "SEARCHES OF THE ATLAS OF FOREST RIGHTS – A GUIDE (Jan 12)" and the "Verderers' Policies & Byelaws" and none of them mention anything about the prohibition of cycling within the New Forest.

They do talk about seeking "to reduce road accidents involving commonable animals" and seeking "to reduce any harmful effects of other uses of the Forest upon farming" but if these can be used to stop mass cycle events on the grounds of animal safety then I would argue that they would also stop all of the Beaulieu motor & jumble events. These Beaulieu motor events cause huge disruption to local traffic & there is a much larger link between increased road traffic & pony deaths. Likewise the New Forest Show causes road blocks all the way to Totton, Spicers Hill and bring increased danger to horses with the greater traffic.

3- The The Forestry Commission also states in it's CTC and Forestry Commission Partnership document on it's website that it actively promotes sustainable cycling for all abilities. I would be interested to see what there comments are on the virtual ban on cycling within the New Forest & how they are protecting the right of cyclist from all over the country to use the National Park.
As someone who lives, works & rides in the New Forest I am fed up of the persecution against cyclists & cycling in this area. 1- Both the Wiggle New Forest rides & the pony Drift are events planned far in advance & as public events would require health & safety reports to be submitted in advance so I have no idea how anyone could make the mistake of having them on the same date. According to newforest-life .com the Drift dates were "3 Sep - Latchmoor; 6 Sep - Beaulieu Rd/Iron Arch; 8 Sep - Woodfidley; 8 Sep - Burley Rocks". That then poses two questions. Are the drifts in this area always held in September & if so how did they clash with a cycling event scheduled for early October? Were the Drift dates changed after the Wiggle cycle event was booked at Brockenhurst? Maybe someone who knows could answer what was going on with these date clashes. Drift 2014 dates as on the Verderers website are 8th May, 18th September, 22rd October, 27th November. These also don't seem to clash with the Wiggle New Forest events so I am unsure how a single year blunder in booking means cyclists cannot use the New Forest for any events ever again? 2- Who runs the new forest national park? is it the Verderers who seem to think they have a god given right to stop specific groups doing anything they disapprove of or is it the Forestry Commission England? I have looked on the Verderers "COMMONS REGISTRATION ACT 1965, THE NEW FOREST", the "SEARCHES OF THE ATLAS OF FOREST RIGHTS – A GUIDE (Jan 12)" and the "Verderers' Policies & Byelaws" and none of them mention anything about the prohibition of cycling within the New Forest. They do talk about seeking "to reduce road accidents involving commonable animals" and seeking "to reduce any harmful effects of other uses of the Forest upon farming" but if these can be used to stop mass cycle events on the grounds of animal safety then I would argue that they would also stop all of the Beaulieu motor & jumble events. These Beaulieu motor events cause huge disruption to local traffic & there is a much larger link between increased road traffic & pony deaths. Likewise the New Forest Show causes road blocks all the way to Totton, Spicers Hill and bring increased danger to horses with the greater traffic. 3- The The Forestry Commission also states in it's CTC and Forestry Commission Partnership document on it's website that it actively promotes sustainable cycling for all abilities. I would be interested to see what there comments are on the virtual ban on cycling within the New Forest & how they are protecting the right of cyclist from all over the country to use the National Park. SCCOMMENT
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Isosceles says...

SCCOMMENT
Are we gather from the tone of this comment that you are not against cycling in the New Forest?
Your last sentence seems reasonable when you use the singular when referring to 'cyclist'. One lone cyclist wouldn't be so bad (:o))
SCCOMMENT Are we gather from the tone of this comment that you are not against cycling in the New Forest? Your last sentence seems reasonable when you use the singular when referring to 'cyclist'. One lone cyclist wouldn't be so bad (:o)) Isosceles
  • Score: 0

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