'Stop Trapping our Trails' Campaign Launched to Combat Trail Sabotage

Jun 7, 2020
by Joel Long  
 stoptrappingourtrails - launches 8pm 7th June 2020

PRESS RELEASE: Stop Trapping our Trails

If you go down to the woods today, you might have a big surprise.
Published by Joel Long of Primeval Illustration and Stop Trapping Our Trails in partnership with Trailmaps.co.uk

Unlike a teddy bear’s picnic, you’ll be hoping not to see this on your local trails as it is something becoming more frequent with the recent surge in bike sales due to a certain pandemic. What I am referring to is trail trapping!

Every day around the world riders seek enjoyment far and wide, from a blast along the backyard bridleways to reaching the highest summits. Unfortunately, we are starting to see an increase in reports of wires tensioned between trees at head height, tree roots featuring upright nails and glass carelessly scattered along the trails you seek freedom on.

As a community, mountain bikers often enjoy the great outdoors with the younger members of their family and trail dogs alike. This isn’t an effort to disrupt your “personal best” on a segment to reach “King of the Mountain”, this is a threat to life towards you and your family.

Upright nails embedded into a tree root. Photo credit Jacqui Dalby
Photo credit: Jacqui Dalby

“How are you going to stop this” I hear you ask? Well, we can’t do it alone nor are we going to put an end to this overnight. What we can do is come together as a community. Through the power of social media, I have teamed up with Trailmaps.co.uk to create Stop Trapping Our Trails, a central hub to raise awareness of the dangers on your local trails.

We encourage the mountain bike community to join our pages on Facebook and Instagram and share any experience of trail trapping by tagging us and using the hashtag #stoptrappingourtrails. We can then publish these threats for all to see, report the dangers to the relevant authorities to see they are removed and ultimately let the creators of these traps know that their efforts to seriously harm cyclists is absolutely unacceptable.

Personally, when I head out to catch some fresh air on the steed and to escape the relentless negativity in the world, the last thing I am thinking is “I wonder if anyone will make an attempt on my life today”… and I think I can speak for us all here by thinking “why would I”?!

Scattered nails across old railway bridleway. Photo credit Jason Lee
Photo credit: Jason Lee

We invite you to join us for the big announcement at 8 pm (BST) on the 7th June on all Stop Trapping Our Trails platforms. We hope you can join us, not only for the announcement but to be a part of the community who will do all they can to put a stop to these potentially fatal traps. There is a range of products now available from the following link that will take you to the Stop Trapping Our Trails product page, a share of the proceeds to support Trash Free Trails. TFT is a community focussed, non-profit organisation for all riders, runners and roamers to take action to reduce plastic pollution on our trails and other wild places.

Stop Trapping Our Trails - Navy sweater available at https trailmaps.co.uk collections stop-trapping-our-trails
Stop Trapping Our Trails - Navy sweater

Until then, let me ask you: how would you feel knowing your favourite trails have been rigged with barbaric contraptions, which can only resemble a medieval torture method?

Have you experienced trail trapping? If so, please share your experience in the comments section and head across to our social media platforms and join the campaign to bring an end to these threats.

Search @stoptrappingourtrails
Instagram: @stoptrappingourtrails
Facebook: @stoptrappingourtrails

Stay safe out there.




  • 12 0
 What would be good would be some way to log these events on Trailforks, that way riders would know areas where there has been a high incidence of sabotage. It could also helping to compile evidence of tampering over time, and even help with placing camera traps to catch culprits.
  • 2 0
 Yes, the only way this will really change is if culprits are caught and an example made. Traps could kill so attempted murder seems an appropriate charge.
  • 6 0
 Haven’t experienced it personally but have seen my fair share of trail traps lately, seems to be pretty rife down in England right now and I’ve seen a couple posts from up here in Scotland too, it’s absolutely disgusting, not to mention how obviously dangerous it is!
  • 9 0
 i've not seen anything as bad as nails/wires across trails but in lockdown there have been plenty times ive ridden trails that people have put down logs and sticks. It's never really been an issue before covid but suddenly all these extra people out and about walking on mtb trails thinking they own the place
  • 4 0
 Someone set my pump track on fire the other week. Luckily it's still rideable, just a bit scorched around the edges.
  • 2 0
 @gmcc: I think you’re right unfortunately, trails are so busy now since lockdown
  • 1 0
 i work in a bike shop and twice during lockdown we have had a regular customer come in with injuries from wire strung across the trail, luckily they were big dudes so only got their chest but had a smaller rider or a child run into them... doesnt bear thinking about
  • 6 0
 WTF is wrong with people these days? It’s like people simply cannot accept or tolerate any form of different anymore. It makes me so sad to see what the human race is becoming.
  • 3 0
 Fell foul of this last week, someone having fixed a fallen tree in place across the entirety of a trail (neither walking path nor bridleway) which was actually on the landing of a jump, at a height which I could only see when it was too late.. luckily came away with only bruising and grazing but could've easily led to an OTB or more severe crash.
I cannot begin to comprehend the mind of someone who thinks that is an acceptable action, let alone reports of wire and nails..
They wouldn't be considered acceptable or humane to use as animal traps never mind for the sake of stopping cyclists, I'd very much like to see those responsible punished proportionately for the intent of their actions.
  • 1 0
 Joezwls - that wasn't you in South Wales last week was it?
  • 2 0
 @GrandMasterOrge: No mate, north Shropshire/Welsh borders me
  • 1 0
 @Joezwls: ah OK, we had a similar incident near to Cardiff in the last few weeks.

  • 6 0
 It's messed up we're having to do this but do it we must.
  • 1 0
 Oh let me see... Barbed wire at neck height, twice. Branches pulled across at head height, most months. Trees pushed over to block the trails, almost weekly at the moment. Trail features 'adjusted', at least every month. Obstacles added to the trails, weekly. I just get off and fix stuff as and when I find it. I've never caught or seen anyone doing it either in nearly 20 years of riding where I do.

My favourite moments have been when I was told I you can't ride here because you'll damage the land by a ranger sat in his ruddy great 4*4. Jog on sunshine. And another rider finding a sign at the top of a trail he built saying bikes not allowed.
  • 10 7
 i would put up a hashtag with a statement claiming the life of cyclists matter.... but id best not Frown
  • 2 0
 found some glass today, not sure if it's drunk idiots or trappers. As well as a massive pile of logs across a section of the trail
  • 2 0
 I ride with my 7yr old boy a lot. if he gets hurt by this... ...I can't bear to think about it. We can fix this before bad things happen.
  • 4 0
 Cowards Unnecessarily Nobbling TrailS.

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