TRF:Wasn’t Hexham Lane the green road that was part of the big fundraising campaign?
Greg:That’s right. Hexham Lane is in the north of England in County Durham. It’s one of a small number that connect North Yorkshire with Northumberland. In 2015 the TRF orchestrated a fundraising campaign to help take legal action that eventually resulted in it being re-opened. A big win the trail riders.
TRF:So how has it been used since it’s re-opening?
Greg:Trail riders around the north have enjoyed using it. We’ve been mindful of weather conditions but thankfully with the summer we’ve just had the surface has fared very well. We’ll need to keep an eye on things as we go into winter.
TRF:What’s the story with the gate then?
TRF:So did you physically replace the gate?
Greg:No, we didn’t actually do the work. I spoke to Audrey Christie, Senior Rights of Way Officer at Durham County Council and we agreed that for us to do the work would require permits etc that we didn’t really have the energy or time to achieve. It was much simpler for DCC to do the work and for us to donate funds to cover the cost. NTRF put in £150 to cover the cost of the gate and DCC covered the labour costs.
TRF:It all sounds quite simple then!
Greg:Yes it was really. We identified a need. We went to the council with an ‘ask’ as well as a financial contribution. They said yes. A couple of months later it was done. Plus we were able to put our NTRF sign on the gate which is all part of the positive TRF message.
Greg:Well, there’s some good energy in NTRF right now, with more and more members stepping up to take on responsibilities and ideas. I’d like to think that now we have this model of working under our belt we will be able to work more closely with the rights of way teams at Durham and Northumbria. I genuinely believe that our club (and others) can become a valuable resource for authorities as a proactive and responsible user group.