Rangers turn to two-wheel power

Rangers have taken to mountain bikes to patrol the Peak District National Park.Penine Way ranger Martin Sharp at the top of Winstone Lee Tor overlooking Ladybower Reservoir.
Rangers have taken to mountain bikes to patrol the Peak District National Park.Penine Way ranger Martin Sharp at the top of Winstone Lee Tor overlooking Ladybower Reservoir.
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They may have the Mounties in the Canadian Rockies - but nearer to home we have the Peak District Mountain Bike Rangers.

Rangers in the National Park are getting on their bikes to patrol the hills and dales, after a huge increase in the number of riders using bridleways and roads in the area.

The cycling rangers will be out and about every weekend to give out directions and cycling tips, administer first aid if necessary and assist with mechanical problems including flat tyres.

Pennine Way ranger Martyn Sharp said: “Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports and appeals to people of all ages. We’ve had some very positive responses to our cycling patrols from fellow mountain bikers and from walkers.

The rangers’ biking project has coincided with the official launch of the ‘Kinder Loop’, a new long-distance route for horse riders, cyclists and walkers in the Peak District.

The 55-mile route encircles Kinder Scout using existing bridleways, lanes, the Pennine Bridleway and the Trans-Pennine Trail.

Along the way it takes in many of the Peak District’s most famous sights.

These include places such as Howden, Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs as well as the picturesque Hope Valley.

Wendy Neilson, chairman of the Peak Horsepower group which developed the Kinder Loop, said: “We hope this new long distance route will provide people with a wonderful horse riding experience in the Peak District that they will remember forever.

“We hope the Kinder Loop will also be enjoyed by cyclists and walkers.”