7 Riders Sent Back to Wales After Breaching Lockdown in the Forest of Dean

Jan 11, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

A group of 7 riders have been told to return to Wales after breaking Lockdown rules in the Forest of Dean last weekend.

The group of riders were in breach of the current guidelines after they travelled from Wales to ride in the Forest of Dean. By riding as a group in the area, they were breaching rules in both England and Wales. The Forest Police unit, that covers the area, has confirmed the incident on Twitter saying: "Officers have advised 7 males attending Cannop Cycle Centre today to return home to Caerphilly, should they be found in the area again during lockdown they will be fined!"

Since October the Gloucestershire Constabulary has said it will be patrolling roads into England and stopping drivers from Wales and turning them around if the journey isn't allowed under current restrictions. While the force can't uphold guidelines in Wales they can hand out fines if English lockdown rules are broken.

The Gloucestershire Constabulary said in October: “While we cannot issue fines to those travelling from Wales into the county, we can inform the host force of those we stop about what has happened so they can take action.

"Officers will be running an operation over the weekend that will cover routes from Wales into the Forest of Dean and if we stop someone travelling from Wales we will be engaging with them to find out why, explaining the legislation and encouraging them to turn around if we are not satisfied with their explanation."

Currently, the area maintained by Forestry England is recommending people should only visit the area for their daily exercise if it is a short distance from their home.

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143 Comments

  • 108 0
 The main point here is who drives *away* from Caerphilly to go riding at Forest of Dean?!
  • 7 0
 This had me baffled...
  • 5 0
 Haha, my first thought too.
  • 4 5
 tbf forest of dean is sick, wales is mint too so don't quite get their mentallity
  • 9 5
 @Jaib06: These are people who knowingly broke the rules the government have set out to get the UK out of this mess so logic and common sense I assume aren't something this lot are blessed with.
  • 2 1
 Exactly! ha
  • 2 0
 Right! Maybe they were just after a gentle pootle around the Verders and nobody has told them about the Taff Trail/Brecon to Mon canal?
  • 9 0
 Exactly, lovely place Caerphilly. Took my girlfriend there years ago on a romantic day trip. I even bought her 10 B&H.
  • 1 0
 You go there with that comment before me. It's not like there's no awesome riding near them is it!!?
  • 1 0
 yes, exactly!!!
  • 47 3
 Thank you Pink Bike for sharing this. We live in near Monmouth in Wales which is right next to the FOD and very close to Cannop. My cycling mad 12 is desperate to ride at Cannop and I have explained we cannot/should not. This is hard for him to swallow when he sees his piers all over Instagram travelling all over the place to ride. Stay local and then we can all get back to riding and racing. Thanks Jim.
  • 11 3
 I think the issue is that the guidance isn't clear. I live in Birmingham so can't ride proper trails without travelling - there's a number of places I could get to in an hour but there's no definition of what is reasonable or local.
Obviously things are bad so I'm just stucking it up and riding the turbo trainer, but the temptation is there (balanced with the reality that it would cause me to have a very angry (and correct) wife (the most dangerous combination of all!))...

Some nice trails down your way though so I hope you're making do with what's local! Stay safe!
  • 6 3
 @slimboyjim: A lot of it comes down to common sense, good on you for staying local. I hear rumours of people going to Dalby from Sheffield and Leeds to ride the natural stuff this is definitely not common sense.
  • 5 0
 @fatduke: It's tough but trying to do the right thing!
  • 6 1
 @fatduke: These guys are, like me, from Wales, where it's even clearer; we are meant to start our exercise from home i.e. not drive at all.

My three year old is also desperate to head to the FoD as he loves the pump track there but sadly he will have to wait until what he calls "the funny virus" has been laid to rest.
  • 2 1
 @slimboyjim: trails to me near 40mins away, as it’s clearly past 5miles I’m not on mtb til post lockdown.
  • 17 2
 @slimboyjim: it's not that vague.

"If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live." www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#summary-what-you-can-and-cannot-do-during-the-national-lockdown

Basically if you can't realistically ride to it, it's probably not local
  • 1 0
 @slimboyjim: same for us, me and my son live 7 miles from cannock chase, we haven't been though as i'm not sure how far local is classed, just going for rides on the road to keep the fitness up
  • 2 0
 @slimboyjim: time to practice your wheelies and manuals.
  • 2 2
 @slimboyjim: the spirit of the rules is, plus there is no entitlement to ride trails, there are no trails I can ride to from my house, given the current lockdown means I’m choosing not too ride, a sacrifice I know most won’t make
  • 3 1
 @slimboyjim: I would suggest that if you have to drive your bike there then it isn’t local. I n is it sucks. I’d love to nip over to FOD as it’s only a 25 minute drive but can’t.
Time to practice , wheelies, manuals and cutties and work on fitness ready for when they open again.
Or build that mini-pump track you’ve always thought about
  • 2 0
 @slimboyjim: the ‘local’ thing needs explanation, you’re right. I live on the edge of Cannock Chase, so I can ride to the trail centre, or if I drive it’s 5 mins, tops. This, to me, is acceptable as ‘local’. Birmingham, albeit ‘local’ to us fellow midlanders, is quite a way to drive to Cannock (as an example). Tricky. Well done for avoiding the wrath of the missus though!
  • 3 0
 @mark3: you would defo be fine to ride the 7 miles to cannock and then enjoy a loop and ride home , with a clear consciounse , and get some endurance fitness in at the same time
  • 2 0
 Don't worry all - I'm being good! Ha ha! Hitting that turbo hard!
  • 1 1
 @slimboyjim: the guidance is clear, Local Excercise Only !!
Not clear as an excuse is why we will be in lockdown indefinitely
  • 3 0
 @el-nombre: My point was that there is no definition of local. I could argue that Cannock is my 'local' trail centre, as it is the nearest place that I can ride proper trails. I could also argue that I can't properly mountain bike near to my house due to the lack of trails.
Don't get me wrong - I don't believe either case, hence why I haven't gone to Cannock (or anywhere else), but I do believe that the guidelines are open to interpretation which can cause confusion or issues. You can read local as one thing and think it obvious, but I could read it differently. For example, wasn't BoJo criticised for riding his bike 10m from home the other day? He thought that was fine, but others didn't. For arguments sake is it worse to drive to a trail centre a couple of miles away (perhaps you have kids and don't want to ride main roads, etc) - some of the parents here seem to be in that position?
Finally, I know when I initially looked (just before Xmas) I didn't see anything about staying local under the exercise section, and it was only when I was directed to another party of the guidance I found it. I think that guidance is updated from what I read before so it is better than before.

All I'm saying is that, from what is on here, something like the Welsh system sounds far more sensible - there is a strict and clear limit on distance you can travel, and/or exercise has to start and end at your front door. There can be no arguement - you're either compliant or not. That seems far more sensible to me.
  • 1 0
 @pigman65: true however the government can’t say how far local is !
  • 2 0
 For the people who do risk it, is it worth a £200 fine.
  • 41 1
 Police said the riders should "get good" and that the riders would be fined if they were too scared to ride Barry sidings.
  • 34 1
 I can't believe that 1 person from South Wales said let's go to the Forest of Dean and 6 others agreed
  • 7 0
 Unless that 1 person was a princess and her mates were dwarves?
  • 1 0
 @browner: then there'd be a Dwarf missing, no ?
  • 21 0
 @hassall79: covids a bitch
  • 7 1
 @browner: lol poor sneezy
  • 2 0
 I can’t believe that someone has that many friends, might help if I stop calling every one a cnut...
  • 1 0
 Yeah sneezy couldn’t make it @hassall79:
  • 1 1
 @mattvanders: maybe you are surrounded by them?
  • 16 2
 There is an inherent irony during these restrictions of people driving on four wheels to carry a two wheel machine to exercise 'locally'. Some of this depends on your perspective based on where you live but riders not adhering to the rules does spread the virus because any animal moving around during an out break of a contagious pathogen does this. Its not new science.
It also has a real impact on other peoples lives. The idea that 'I should be able to make up my own mind' only works if the decisions you make only affect your own family, in this case they dont. Its a selfish approach based on individuals being lucky that the virus doesnt cause them personally a risk.
In September the Surrey Hills had one of the lowest rates of COVID infections because as a community people were careful. During the October lockdown, the place was rammed with riders (and hikers) from the home counties and the Thames corridor, most not social distancing. The local shops stopped offering hot food and drink because of the abuse they got from riders refusing to wear face masks and adhering to capacity rules. Guess what? 4 weeks later we had one of the highest rates of COVID in the country. Its not all down to this but one cannot argue it didnt contribute toward it....and the number of people that are now dying in the region.
Get on your bike at your house and go for a ride locally...dont spread the virus out of selfishness.
  • 21 7
 Why would you risk a fine to go and ride in the Forest of Flat
  • 11 6
 the dh stuff there is sick what you on?
  • 15 2
 because there is no where to ride in Wales at all. what a bunch of selfish pricks.
  • 9 1
 They're lucky to have the best trails at home in Wales.
  • 4 1
 This is ridiculous. I live in Wales and I can cycle the 7 miles to my local trails (Wentwood Forest). Or, I can take the XC bike out on the road/cycle paths and ride 20 mile loops. All of this is done without driving!

I appreciate that 'local' can be open to interpretation, especially depending on your level of fitness, but the Welsh Guidance on this is as follows:

"There are no limits on the distance you can travel during exercise, though the nearer you stay to your home, the better. Your exercise should start and finish from your home and generally, this should not involve people driving to a location away from home."

Source - gov.wales/leaving-your-home-and-seeing-other-people-alert-level-4#section-58483

Just follow the bloody rules and if they don't make sense, use your common sense!

I can't wait to get back to BPW, Cwmcarn, Afan, FoD and BMCC!
  • 5 0
 This Lockdown is nothing like the one in March, compliance seems to be much lower with lots of traffic on the roads.
  • 3 1
 Yep and people being very liberal in their interpretation of how far they travel for exercise....
  • 3 3
 that's becuase they do no good and everyone recognizes it now. lockdown? more covid!? now what?......ummmm......LOCKDOWN?

thats the literal and figurative thinking. LMFAO
  • 5 1
 @conoat: it's also because more and more people are starting to recognise that the cabinet are a gang of criminals, feathering their own nests. you can't do stuff like arresting a woman in her home, for filming an empty hospital, and not expect some blowback.
  • 2 0
 @tobiusmaximum: government is a cult

everything about it, operates exactly like a cult.

demand strict adherence
punish doubt
demonize outsiders that question the leader
take your money/life

just about the only thing they don't do that's cult-like is demand to sleep with your wife.....yet. LOL
  • 1 0
 I’ve seen your wife , even Boris wouldn’t stoop that low lol
  • 5 0
 We would’ve got away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids....
  • 6 2
 The hospitals in Gloucester & Cheltenham are full and if you crash in the FOD, that's where you'll probably end up.
  • 2 0
 a woman in a wheelchair and a 92 year old man were arrested for protesting climate change but these guys travel all the way from Caerphilly to FOD and get a smack on the wrists and a warning. hmm
  • 6 6
 I suppose the biggest problem is the travel, I cant see much 'risk' in riding about in the woods in a small group with regard to getting covid so long as you dont insist on getting on each others bikes / in each others faces but the whole travelling to a different area I suppose brings up going in different shops, petrol station etc etc....

Bah, I agree with some others on here, do we need daily updates on PB on rule breaking, or is this like the story of the two women going for a walk with cups of coffee - just a story to make an example and deter others from doing the same?
  • 15 3
 Until you crash your bike and have to go to the local a&e, which is not going to be in anyone's interest. Or are riding behind somebody breathing out virus all day.
  • 2 0
 @lochussie: Agree with the first one, thats a real concern now we are at the point that hospitals are at capacity - the second one, not so sure riding a few mtrs behind someone will put you at much risk, of course I dont actually know what im talking there, just seems unlikely to me - As I said, dont get in someone elses grill....

Anyway, I am pretty much sticking to the lot of the rules anyway, no group rides out of area for me, 'worst' I have done is walk for a few hrs with one other person and they can get f*cked if they think im stopping to do that, (unless the shit completely hits the fan of course) my brain would explode.
  • 8 31
flag jaame (Jan 11, 2021 at 13:33) (Below Threshold)
 @lochussie: if you don't want to do that which you describe, then stay at home. If someone else who is a grown ass adult thinks the risk is acceptable, what business is it of yours?
  • 12 1
 @jaame: That would be fine, but in this case the actions of an individual could (in extreme circumstances I admit) effect others if you go on to take up time at A&E in an already overwhelmed hospital - No arguments as to if they are or not here please, a point is being made more than anything.

In order for it to be nobody elses business in this instance you would need to be able to crash your bike, hurt yourself and crawl off home to treat yourself or just go into the bushes to die off, neither of which is a reality.

Pretty much every action a person takes in a society is the business of someone else in some way or another, sometimes it doesnt matter, sometimes it does.
  • 9 1
 @jaame: not having a go at you, but this would be my response, just to give an alternative viewpoint:

Because not all grown-ass adults can be trusted to be a good judge of what is an acceptable risk. Or to consider or care about risk at all. Some people might not be fully aware of the risks. Some people just wont give a toss.

That's why they have to have rules.

I'm not enjoying the rules in anyway, but i do understand why they have to be out in place.
  • 9 13
flag jaame (Jan 11, 2021 at 14:22) (Below Threshold)
 @DidNotSendIt: I understand the argument. Someone like me for example who has crashed one time in the past year, and just grazed my knee - and that's in a year when I did four times my usual annual mileage. I crashed once and got up again - maybe that risk is totally acceptable.
In my reasoned opinion, it tells me that the chance of me being hospitalised is pretty small. In addition, I am allowed to do doorstep rides according to the rules. I could just as easily crash locally as at somewhere I drove to. All I'm saying is, it's a free country. You can't make people stay in if they don't want to.

I think this news story is almost as absurd as that professor that got arrested for jaywalking in New York. I can decide for myself when and where it's safe to cross the street. I can decide for myself when and where I want to go for a bike ride. I'm not going to be going to do the Mega or try to progress my jumping on the Vision Line during lockdown, but I sure as shit am going to be going out for my daily exercise. I'm intelligent enough to stay away from others and to not push to hard. I'll be all right.

I do not feel the need to try to protect other people from their own stupidity. Young lads, they all think they're invincible. More power to them. Their parents and grandarents should take more responsibility to influence their behaviour if they're worried about covid.
  • 9 0
 @jaame: Libertarianism is as wierd as any extreme view, isnt it?
  • 4 1
 @justanotherusername: It is, as is freedom of movement and unchecked globalisation. If you have a virus that transmits easily and hosts who can move freely it is inevitable that the virus will spread. That's surely why we are all being asked to stay local - to reduce the effect of living in a 'global village' that, for all its benefits, has allowed this virus to spread across the whole world. That's a situation in which I don't feel entirely comfortable society giving everyone free rein to make their own risk assessments, I'm afraid.
  • 4 4
 @jaame: this is a very narrow minded and not very informed view. Try working for the NHS and see how COVID is affecting people. At all the hospitals local to FOD (Gloucester and Bristol) ambulances are having to wait hours to offload their patients at ED due to the increase in pressures from COVID on top of the usual winter pressures.
Plus all the NHS staff off sick or isolating due to the virus.

But it’s ok, you’ve weighed up the risks and deemed it to be ok for you.
  • 3 0
 Nobody slagging off Danny Hart and Sam Hill @DidNotSendIt:
  • 1 0
 @flyingfox49: huh? - do you mean nobody slagged them off for riding?
  • 3 0
 @flyingfox49: Well, do you know what australian rules are? Do you know when Danny filmed the video and the circumstances? Suppose thats why...
  • 3 0
 @jaame: Ah, i think we were looking at the matter from different perspectives. You are looking at it from the point of potentially injuring oneself while riding (which is a valid concern given how overstretched some of our hospitals are reported to be) and managing/assessing the risk of it.

I was looking at it more from a spreading/transmission point of view.

The risks i was talking about is people deciding for themselves whether to break the rules and travel out of their area - potentially turning a low infection-rate area that could potentially benefit for an ease in local restrictions into a high-infection area.

As i said earlier, i'm not enjoying the lockdown rules. But i can see the merit in trying to contain the virus as locally as possible.

I live within short riding distance of a fantastic trail network, so i can still ride there if i want to. But if the trail centre got closed completely (they've already shut the car parks) because a bunch of people across the country descended upon it and caused a massive spike in cases, i'd be quite upset.
  • 2 0
 @DidNotSendIt: I agree with this. What you’re saying makes sense.
  • 1 4
 @CustardCountry: "At all the hospitals local to FOD (Gloucester and Bristol) ambulances are having to wait hours to offload their patients at ED due to the increase in pressures from COVID"


you have anything that proves this statement, or are you just extracting that from your balloon knot?
  • 3 0
 @conoat: www.google.com/amp/s/www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/nhs-warning-record-numbers-coronavirus-4866398.amp

States in the article paramedics took pictures ambulances queuing and waits of up to 5hrs.

Could be bullshit, probably isn’t - what is your motivation to prove it is?
  • 1 5
flag conoat (Jan 13, 2021 at 9:24) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: the quelling of fear mongering.

also, they took photos of ambulances. no evidence there are people in them. I have no inclination to believe or disbelieve it. What I do know is that if you're going to state something, you need to be able to prove it. not simply assert it.
  • 2 0
 @conoat: What is acceptable proof to you?

Why would paramedics and the Bristol post want to lie to you?

If the situation is true, is it fear mongering or simple explanation of a real situation?
  • 3 1
 @conoat: all the hospitals are currently overloaded in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. EDs can’t move people out of there as there’s no beds free for them to go to.
Morons are still calling 999 or turning up to ED for bollocks reasons adding strain.
Instead of seeing 5-8 patients in a 12 hour shift ambulance are seeing 2-3 due to wasting hours of their time sitting outside of ED (sometimes with very unwell patients). The reason for this is because they have to keep each patient in the back until there is a bed because they can’t queue in the corridor where 1 paramedic could look after 4 or 5 at a time as is normal in busy times).
People are dying and others are struggling to recover.
Not sure what ‘balloon knot you are referring to but we do get to see the numbers and statistics from the Ambulance service).

Why the f*ck would o want to make this shit up?

But if you want to keep on being a dick, you carry on.
Stay home and wear a f*cking mask. It’s not that difficult. It just sucks and is boring as f*ck.
  • 2 4
 @CustardCountry: "Stay home and wear a f*cking mask."


no
  • 4 2
 It’s definitely worthwhile wearing a mask. It’s just like coughing or sneezing into your arm, only better. Even when you talk, small particles of saliva become aerosols which are easily blown around and ingested by others. The simple mask will capture a huge percentage of these particles before they get away from your immediate vicinity.
It’s the right thing to do whenever you are anywhere near other people.
  • 2 1
 @jaame: amen man, total common sense.
  • 24 21
 Stupid cunts travelling to a different country. What the hell did they expect. Should be named and shammed.
  • 18 14
 Totally agree. What the f*ck are people thinking? Thousands of people dying every day and these twats can't seem to follow a simple instruction by staying within their own county.
  • 11 18
flag jaame (Jan 11, 2021 at 13:34) (Below Threshold)
 Hellz yeah, name them and sham them! Come on lads, let's get our pitchforks and sort out those f*cking total c*nts. Absolute twats. What the f*ck are they thinking? f*ck!
  • 8 1
 @jaame: While I don't think the actions of the riders is defensible I agree that there isn't much to be gained from naming and shaming them. They've been spoken to by the police who I'm sure remember to write down their names. We don't generally do trial by public opinion in this country, which is a bit of a relief given some of the articles I see in the Daily Mail and the Guardian.
  • 7 12
flag jaame (Jan 11, 2021 at 23:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Linkpin: I agree. Total BS article.
  • 6 1
 @jaame: That's not at all what I said. The article makes no mention of naming or shaming.
  • 2 6
flag jaame (Jan 12, 2021 at 0:57) (Below Threshold)
 @Linkpin: I agree with the part you said about pitchforks. End of sentence.

Next thought: total BS article.

Apologies for being ambiguous in my reply.
  • 2 3
 @Linkpin: sorry, the part you said about trial by public opinion. I agree with that part of what you said.
  • 4 2
 Riding in a group of 7 too......stoooopid
  • 1 2
 @MildMildWest: I mean even when we had less restrictions in England group size was limited at 6 (and not 6 different households)
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Gotcha.
  • 2 2
 @thewho07: stay home if you're skerred
  • 2 3
 @MildMildWest: what if they are all house mates? what if they are all recovered from Covid? what if.....

see, you took about 14% of the information, and decided to be a cheeky c*nt. typical.
  • 3 1
 I'm getting quarantine shamed for riding gentle XC pootles 10 miles down the road, fully within gov guidelines ,an then theres shit like this..... Puts it intonpeespective
  • 1 0
 In all fairness tho. Said gov guidelines are very vague. P.S Fuck auto correct
  • 3 0
 Especially when Boris Johnson himself drives 7 miles to go for a bike ride....
  • 2 0
 Learn to ignore twatwaffles
  • 1 0
 i know i could find 6 mates who are itching to get back to wales at the moment. Perhaps we can do an exchange for 2021. They can come and do my job, and ill go and ride bikes for a year.
  • 4 7
 I am going next week from London. fuck it. I only get so many years to ride a bike and I won't have another stolen from me.
  • 18 20
 Not here to comment on the actions of those mentioned in the article, but this isn’t why I read Pink Bike daily, I can get this sort of information and related news rammed down my throat in a host of other places- please don’t invade my relaxation space with it too?
  • 3 6
 well said
  • 15 2
 You can probably not click on the article eh?
  • 4 2
 @Peskycoots: Exactly. For the rest of us, this is one of the most relevant stories for UK mountain bikers.

I know we all want to escape the doom and gloom but this is real.
  • 4 0
 if only there were a few other articles on PB to read...
  • 6 5
 What a sad day
  • 3 3
 Boo
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