Friday 26 March 2021

Rally - Where England leads ...

Just when you think some degree of normality can be glimpsed riding to our rescue over the horizon - the horizon moves further away!


Following last year's review, Forestry England have tossed a spanner in the works. They have advised Motorsport UK that motorsport will not be allowed to resume on their estate before 30th September 2021.


Any forest events planned before that date will therefore not get an MS UK Permit. On that basis we can expect yet more calendar changes to the various championship events.


The big problem here is that forests throughout the country have been seen a surge of visitors eager to escape the confines of lockdown and enjoy the fresh air and wide open spaces. That includes Forestry England's estate.


Apparently this situation is expected to intensify as lockdown is eased and people regain freedom to roam, with Forestry England anticipating that public demand will increase further.


This is not just because people want to get outdoors and see the sky above them - even if it is wet and grey - but also because holidays abroad are currently banned and likely to be severely restricted in the coming months. So folks can't travel abroad in search of sunshine.


Closed public road and single venue events should be unaffected although organisers will still have to apply the appropriate restrictions to those attending such events as participants, officials, and where possible spectators. So it still doesn't promise to provide an easy ride for the nation's rally fans.


So far there have been no pronouncements from Forest & Land Scotland. Wales and Northern Ireland also have their own forest management authority.


When we find out more, we'll let you know.


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