What a pity I didn't have £500,000 to spend on a wood.

Along the North Downs Way, near a town that used to sell the version of the Lotus 7, there's a wood. Signposted as being private, it has a little network of deer paths over 120 acres that have been used by dog walkers and local children for years. In theory then a little used network of what could be called potential "singletrack" trails on a relatively steep, heavily wooded hill? Not that I'd ever cross that boundary, and cycle on private land you know. Nope never done that.....

Today I was over there and noticed a sign stating that the land was for sale. Well now, wonder how much it would cost? Ancient woodland chock full of what look like good mountain biking trails. Er, potential trails should I say. My mistake, sorry. Huh turns out that a local school has beaten me to it, not that I've a spare £500,000. They are going to open it up to the public, and use it for school curriculum duties. Fair enough, and good so far. It needs using and maintaining as a lot of the wood is rotten; it needs managing properly, which the school will do. However, one suspects that now it has moved from neglected status to cherished, that us poor mountain bikers will definitely be off the agenda and a, shall we say, potentially good spot in an area frequently visited by us off-road cyclists has been lost.

Not that I ever rode there in the first instance you understand.

Selfish motivation aside, the fact that the landowner has finally done something with it is brilliant news for Cater.... oh, secret squirrel, the town in question. For a school to be able to engage in active, and potentially dangerous, outdoor activities in Health & Safety obsessed UK really is fantastic. Well done to them! Three cheers and all that. Wonder if they've thought of adding mountain biking or cyclo-cross to the curriculum?

Interestingly I note that local people, in particular one chap on Facebook, are going to organise future access arrangements. Again I wish them well, but they'll not have to do much trail planning.....