The Cycle Track
damage to trees
In 2004 the Spinney in the centre of Beckingham village became a problem area and a nuisance factor to those living nearby due to the mess, noise, bad language and at times aggressive behaviour. For many years children had a makeshift bike track. They had created a track by building ramps with odd bits of wood and anything else they could find and digging up the ground. In the process a lot of mess and damage was caused, in particular to the trees by stripping the bark off, along with damage to a nearby garden fence. Issues of safety and behaviour problems were a concern and needed to be addressed.

The youngsters complained that they had nowhere else to go with their bikes and what they really wanted was a proper bike track. They were advised to attend the next Parish Council Meeting and put their views in an orderly and mature way. This they did, and after some discussion it was agreed that a sub group made up of members of the council would approach the Village Hall Committee requesting the use of part of their sports field in order to build a cycle track.

The Village Hall agreed and a corner of the field was allocated on license to the Parish Council.
Soil delivery by Difuria
The first Cycle Track meeting was held on 20th July 2004. A committee was formed, which included some of the youngsters themselves, rules were drawn up, and a plan of campaign was launched. Over the next year: -
A grant of 7000 was secured from Nottinghamshire Community Foundation and children themselves raised around 50. Planning consent was sought and agreed, from Bassetlaw District Council.
Local Contractors Difuria was approached who generously donated 600 tons of topsoil, and were contracted to profile the track. Insurance was sought and covered by the Parish Councils policy. The Chair and secretary had to attend a course on Child Protection and apply for CRB checks to be completed.
track taking shape
In July and August 2004 the allocated area of the field was marked off and Difuria began delivering topsoil. They roughly shaped the track according to the design the youngsters had created themselves.
In October more topsoil was added and the track was then left to settle over the winter. During the winter signs were put up showing the rules of the track and a bin was provided for rubbish.
more shaping
final profiling
In Mar to May of 2005, more material was added to the track and the final profiling was done bysome of the youngsters, parents and members of the committee, using spades and other tools. There was a problem with water standing on the track, which was solved by the laying of drainage pipes. A problem developed with the rabbits burrowing into the track, this is an ongoing and difficult one to combat.A yew hedge was planted as a barrier between the track
constructing a ramp

and the rest of the field to designate the boundary.After it was discovered in August of that year that the users had erected a makeshift and unsafe wall, to make the track more interesting, an amount of timber was purchased and an official wall was erected for the users safety.
The Track
The track was finally completed and approved safe for its purpose by ROSPA inspectors. It is regularly inspected by members of the Parish Council, and has yearly Health and Safety inspections. It appears to be used on a regular basis being a valuable amenity to the younger members of the village who use it. Once up and running it was hoped to be able to pass on the management of the track to others to maintain and look after, but this has proved rather difficult, due to lack of interest. Unfortunately, there is a growing problem of vandalism and abuse of the track, in particular with motorbikes and quad bikes, despite the fact that there is a padlocked gate to prevent vehicles going onto the field. The bikes are apparently just lifted over. There is also a lot of rubbish left lying around and all the safety signs have been broken or destroyed. A lot of hard work went into planning, negotiating and creating the track by the committee, and all children and parents who were involved.
The Parish Council now fund annual inspections and maintenance work required to keep the track safe. They have also agreed to replace the signs. Lets hope these are left alone to display the rules and advise the users on safety. It would be a great loss and shame for the village if it had to be closed down.

The Track has now been reopened (July 2009) after a period of maintenance. It is hoped that it will be treated with respect and enjoyed by all.

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