Wednesday 16 September 2020

Rally Yet another threat

The fact that Forestry England is currently "reviewing motorsports in the nation’s forests" might have escaped the notice of those of us who live, work and play in Scotland's forests.

Some may even think it of little interest or concern, but you can bet your racing bootees that Forest & Land Scotland, Natural Resources Wales (Forestry) and Forest Service Northern Ireland will be keeping their collective ears to the ground on what is being said by those who contribute to this debate, and the potential outcome after consultation and deliberation by FE.

On that basis you might like to send a personal, club, event, championship missive of support for our southern brethren and sistern to Bridgette Hall, Forestry England's Head of Recreation. The 'consultation' period closes on September 30th.

The trouble is there are more ramblers, birdwatchers, fishers and cyclists than rally folk out there so we are outnumbered before we start. But since we live in one of the world's most respected democracies (?) the Government of the land has a duty to look after the interests of the minority while respecting the views of the majority.

Bear in mind that Forest England are only the managers of public property, not the owners, so they have to respect and extend the rights of access to all. Sometimes methinks certain folk in authority forget such details.

If the sport can demonstrate just how big and important the motor rallying minority is then we might get a decent hearing. The economic impact of a rally being located in and passing through rural locations cannot be under-estimated and those who are attracted to the spectacle often return for additional recreational, social and family reasons.

It's not just special stage rallying that could be at risk, Targa and Road Rallies could also be affected as they too use sections of forest roads.

So if you enjoy rallying in Kielder, Cumbria, Yorkshire and the south west then please support our friends over the Border, and ourselves, as we all need to pull together on this one. Put it another way, you don't really have an excuse not to, with all this extra time on your hands during these Covid blighted days. Under the latest dictat from Edinburgh, which confines us to barracks, there's time aplenty to compose a constructive missive and send it south.

There's more info here:

Oh, and one other thing, don't be rude or crude and don't use sweary words! We'll have more chance if we offer up reasonable arguments. And remember, please do it before the 30th September.


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