UPDATE: Fundraiser Set Up for Windhill Bike Park After Suspected Arson Attack

Oct 3, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Update

Windhill has now set up a fundraiser to help replace the damage caused by the attack (original story below). They have set the initial target at £20,000 but it seems like they are expecting an insurance payout to cover some of the costs so will be donating any further money to Air Ambulance services in the local area.

bigquotesOur Iconic start ramp/cabin was unfortunately destroyed by fire. This was no accident. Not only did the Ramp provide the the initial burst of speed for riders but underneath was a cabin for riders to rest, recuperate between runs and relax with fellow riders.

The Cabin also acted as our store for essential tools of the trade that helped us keep the trails running sweet, lips crisp, landings smooth and run the site on a day to day basis. Everything above and below is gone or stolen: Blowers, Chain saws, hand tools, our generator, hand tools and much more besides. We hope to get the site back up to speed and running at its best as soon as possible. We've had so many messages of support from the MTB community and beyond, all pledging support and help. Its been both humbling and heartening to hear the words of support, many of whom suggested we ask for your help through donating funds to make Wind Hill Great Again. So here it is ...

We are looking to rebuild a ramp and provide a cabin. We are hoping with help to raise the money to rebuild these and replace the essential equipment that were lost to the flames and thieves.

Any additional money raised above what we need for replacing the ramp, cabin and our equipment will be donated to the Air Ambulance services that cover Wind Hill and the other parks (Rogate, Tidworth & S4P Milford) and hopefully go to saving lives of not just Mountain Bikers but the wider communities which these services support.
Windhill Bike Park

The GoFundMe page is here.



Original Story

Windhill Bike Park has today posted devastating photos of an arson attack on their trails.

Windhill has only been open a few years but has already picked up a reputation as one of the most progressive and fun bike parks in the UK. Unfortunately, the bike park posted the devastating news that it has been hit by a suspected arson attack on social media earlier today. The start ramp and Cabin have been totally burned down and trees have had to be felled, causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage. Thankfully emergency services arrived at the scene quickly and were able to stop the damage spreading further.


Windhill have asked riders to keep coming to the park and "keep smiling and whooping your way down the trails" and "fill the woods with the positive energy" while they future proof the park. The full statement from Windhill is below:


bigquotesSome days start great others not so great. Yesterday, flipping open the laptop to check morning emails, looked like it wasn't gonna be a great day ...

'Morning Richard,

I have some bad news for you I’m afraid.

This morning one of your sections of the bike track has been set on fire.'

Thinking it bit odd that someone would build a fire on a section of track, I scrolled down to attached pictures. That's where I discovered the level of understatement the sender's opening gambit displayed and the true level of senseless destruction that we faced.

It's hard to describe the sinking feeling I felt seeing the pictures forwarded... Our iconic Start Cabin, the start point of hundreds of thousands of minutes of fun for riders from around the world and a cosy rest point between runs was gone.

Hundreds of hours from the team and volunteers & Tens of thousands of pounds was gone. Awash with a range of emotions, rage, upset, sorrow, I sat numbed and not ashamed to say some tears flowed.

B1KE has been and continues to be a roller coaster, Highs and lows, excitement and fear, successes and setbacks, we've made friends with many and it would seem, enemies of a few. I guess it's like riding a trail for the first time, a trail that will test you, scare you a little, make you smile and occasional dish out a few hard knocks. There are moments you allow yourself to feel proud of your achievements but at the speed we roll there is not very often much time for that and its back to focussing on the next challenge. Like a trail, life can be full of rock gardens to navigate, seemingly insurmountable climbs to grind out, scary leaps of faith, but also sweeping sections that make you grin from ear to ear. It may be tough at times but giving up is never an option. And just like going for a ride its even better when you get to share it with friends or those that will become friends. To all of our friends out there we'd like to thank you for support, understanding, honest feedback that keeps us on track, encouragement and the happiness you bring to the parks.

The Cabin is gone and the hard work of many may seem to be lost, they'll be no more warming up round a log burner and banter beneath the beams, but a start point of some kind will rise from the ashes and the show will still go on. Bear with us while we deal with the aftermath and get plans in place for how to future proof the park, set your wheels in motion, and how going forward we can offer the shelter you sometimes need and where more good memories will be formed.

No start ramp but still plenty of good riding. Please come and ride and keep smiling and whooping your way down the trails. Fill the woods with the positive energy that the hard working staff feed off and makes all the parks so special.

Thanks the emergency services for their swift response and the wet weather for limiting the damage that a week earlier would have been far worse. 9 trees need to be felled but it could have been so much worse. Police investigations are of course underway and forensics doing their thing. Karma will prevail as ever.

Please keep away from the remnants of the ramp while the clean up is in progress and start your ride from the points indicated by the staff. The'll be no coffee/tea or snacks for a while and you'll need to report in to a van at the top of 'Blutopia' where 'Ark at E' splits off until a more permanent solution is found.

Peace & Love
Windhill Bike Park


Our thoughts go out to the folks at B1ke and Windhill and we hope they are able to recover from the attack and get the centre back up and running at full capacity as soon as possible.

Regions in Article
Windhill Bikepark

Posted In:
Industry News



82 Comments

  • 57 1
 Sad news for my regular riding spot. Hope Richard and the team manage to sort it all out and the police catch the morons responsible. JP
  • 26 1
 They should set up a go fund me - I’d chip in 50€ (used to live nearby but live abroad now).
  • 1 0
 That's ridiculous, I guess ignorance knows no borders. We had a huge wallride burned and shot up by some idiots. Now they patrol back there because it's a state park.
  • 5 2
 Bet it was elderly ramblers.
  • 4 1
 This kind of crap gets me really fired up!
  • 10 0
 Another ebike explosion.
  • 8 4
 Crowd funding for a business when they were insured. For twice as much as it would cost to replace. Really.
  • 3 1
 @holdandhope: These guys don't make a lot of money from a facility like this, and if they can build it better than before - then great. We're a small group and insurance takes time.

Submitted my pennies as promised.
  • 1 2
 @holdandhope: thats spot on why would anyone have to give them more money when they were charging a hefty price to ride there anyway? they moaned the money was to cover the cost of insurance soooo use your insurance already! and before all the butthurt fairys get on one about it they are purely money orientated my mate took his young son there who can only manage two runs on his 18 inch wheeled bike and some guy called rich was kicking off that he had to pay £10 for it!
  • 4 1
 @markbe: the £10 entry fee covers the liability insurance for the company and park maintenance and as a lot of the things in the hut and the hut itself were donated by local businesses and traded man, and it’s unfair to ask them to replace it , now the entry fee is quite steep if you are only there for a couple of hours and maybe a half day , or hourly rate may be better but a system to control this would come at extra cost and as the company is still expanding it may be in the future. I understand your frustration but in this situation something bad has happened and they’re asking for help so unless you want to donate or say sorry to hear that then fair enough but think that any problems you have with the company itself should be direct to them instead of telling everybody how shit place is , be helpful and give them some feedback , the company is still young (2 years old) and still developing
  • 24 1
 I've always said Windhill was lit...



sh*t news though in all seriousness. Hope they catch the bastards
  • 29 0
 Aye, somebody was arson around!
  • 5 0
 @showmethemountains: too soon man. I thought bike theives were the scum of the Earth...never considered bike arson.
  • 4 0
 @Duderz7: Perhaps it was one of those self combusting e-bikes...

In all seriousness though, I'm sure they will go from strength to strength, this sort of thing will bring a load of people together to help and get it rebuilt.

Not been to Windhill for ages but it's always an absolute riot, even if I do use my nuts as a cushion to land on overcooking the ladder drop to flat...
  • 22 1
 What's with all the hate towards MTB lately - cables across trails, booby traps and now arson?

It's not like we're roadies (sorry). Sheeeit, it wasn't even related to ebikes!

Stay safe out there boys n girls
  • 19 0
 Unfortunately this isn't even remotely new. Cable, barbed wire, spikes in trails, ripped up trails, etc have all been happening for a long time. They were already familiar news when I got into mountain biking 12 years ago
  • 7 0
 @showmethemountains: It is attempted manslaughter if any cables etc are strung across trails at head height, somehow though I doubt police will really view it as such. The first time an arsonist or organised gang of bike thieves finally get caught then I really hope the law comes down extremely hard on them. Some people really have nothing better to do than create chaos for others, probably went out of their way to climb up a hill and set fire to a biking facility fuelled by buckfast and prescription drugs. SCUM
  • 20 0
 This is s**t. It totally unnecessary and risks the existence of the park itself.
  • 15 0
 Richard and Ian have done so much for MTB in the uk over the year. this make me very mad. I hope it back up and running soon and that B1ke are not to out of pocket.
  • 9 0
 They're up and running again - just no start ramp, obviously. JP
  • 9 0
 Sadly with 7 billion people on the planet and rising, some of them are going to arseholes. Trail damage is not uncommon and I've lost count of the times that I have had to stop and remove obviously placed obstacles on our local trails. Twice that has been barbed wire at neck height. But this just sucks. It sucks not just because it was a shitty thing to do but because whoever did it most likely did so with no agenda other than the fact that they are clearly a c***.

Assuming it wasn't a mistake, which us unlikely.
  • 5 0
 Anyone who puts barbed wire at neck height should be charged with attempted murder if they're caught.

I've had some thick fishing line find me at neck height while screaming through a forest. Luckily for me the dumbass didn't know how to tie a decent knot.

One public conviction should hopefully scare the sh*t out of any of these idiots who think it's a joke to deliberately endanger lives.
  • 1 0
 More like 8 billion by now.
  • 5 0
 I was properly angry when I saw this pop up on my news feed, such a mindless waste!

I've ridden at Windhill and the other B1ke parks (Rogate and Tidworth) an awful lot despite living in South Wales and they always have a great vibe about them, loads of progression too. There's a reason that on almost every visit there would be a pro or 3 floating around, they're such a good place to ride. The atmosphere round that start ramp with the seats, shop and staff was a big part of why me and my mates ride there so often. I must have put a quite a lot of the wear on the wooden steps over that time!

Hopefully Richard and co can rebuild it better than before, that way some good will come out something so very, very bad.
  • 6 0
 I live in the US and never have been to windhill but if they set up a go fund me or something like that i would def contribute
  • 7 0
 Who else clicked on the article just to find out where Windhill is?
  • 1 0
 Guilty lol
  • 11 1
 @dkidd we do ride mtbs in the civilised world Smile
  • 1 0
 I thought it was in N Carolina or upstate NY.
  • 5 0
 That,s fawked up , I hope they catch the firebug .
  • 3 0
 I believe they'll be back open without the ramp tomorrow. There are some ideas regarding the perpetrators but no real evidence. JP
  • 1 0
 Do you know for sure if it’s open tomorrow?
  • 1 0
 @Luke12Phillips: I texted Luke from Wind Hill earlier and he said that they're back open now with no start ramp. Probably worth double checking Insta/FB tomorrow though, if you're planning on going there.

JP
  • 1 0
 @Jprestidge: okay thanks mate I’ll keep an eye out on their social media, thanks again
  • 1 0
 Wind Hill B1kepark is one of my favorite places to ride it takes me over 2 hours to get there but i still visit at least once a month. The staff and everyone that rides there are so nice and chill. These are gutting pictures ive set off down the trailks there from this start ramp so many times and so many smiles and memories have been made. I know that the guys here will raise the cabin from the ashes. BIGGER AND BETTER LADS
  • 1 0
 I caught some kids lighting a fire up my local woods in the height of summer when everything was bone dry. They saw I had clocked them and ran off. I called the fire brigade and thankfully it hadnt really caught so was easy to put out. They told me it was the second deliberate fire they had attended in the woods that evening and fires were being lit on a regular basis. In that case it was just bored kids in their early teens. Maybe they thought it was a good way to get respect at school. F-ing idiots. My guess is its the same problem at Windhill
  • 3 0
 The only related words I can use to mask my anger is “that the people who did this are hucking stunts”
  • 1 0
 This a senseless act. What the perp does not realize is, that the folks concerned will come back stronger than ever from this. Owners, riders & all other interested parties.
  • 1 0
 How utterly mental Wreaking other peoples hard work and dreams.... Just shows there probebly jealous about us mountian biking!
  • 1 0
 Gutted about this, love riding Windhill. Mindless twats! Hope Windhill comes back stronger than ever, as soon as the trails are open me and the boys will be back
  • 1 0
 Such a shame but let’s not let it get us down. Grab your mates, grab your bike and go check out some of the best trails in the country and support this awesome team!
  • 2 0
 New trail “the Phoenix” a new trail can rise from the ashes!!!

Puts a nice spin on it
  • 1 0
 The Sea to Sky gondola in Squamish had the cable deliberately cut sending cabins crashing to the ground... so yeah, this sucks but if they wanted to do some real damage...
  • 2 0
 Please catch this person, please! Gutted...
  • 3 1
 Cry Really Mad Evil
Words fail me
  • 1 0
 you said there is a wood burning heater, you sure that didn't just combust? either way terrible news.
  • 2 0
 Nope - it was definitely arson. JP
  • 3 2
 i vote they rebuild it from terrorist passports, those things are indestructible i heard.
  • 4 2
 AH, insurance claim ,the plot thickens
  • 1 0
 10% of all sales from www.neesh.store (they upcycle uk bike innertubes) will be donated to the go fund me page
  • 1 0
 Fucking horrible bike hater sh1t. Hopefully there was insurance.
  • 2 1
 Time to check every hiker that bitches about that park
  • 4 1
 I don't think hikers were involved - quite the opposite. JP
  • 3 0
 @Jprestidge: Random chav kid mountain bikers who don’t like paying to ride? Same sort that usually dump all their sweet wrappers, monster cans all at start ramps? Wouldn’t surprise me, the probably ride stolen bikes as well.
  • 1 0
 Man, lame. People are the worst
  • 1 0
 Probably not malicious just a phyco with a box of matches
  • 1 0
 This happened at our trails, but they are still rideable
  • 1 0
 I hope they rebuild bigger and better than ever!
  • 1 0
 Never been to Windhill but i will definitely make the effort to visit now.
  • 1 0
 This sucks why would anyone ever try and destroy such a sick bike park.
  • 1 0
 WTF is wrong with people?
  • 1 0
 Place is RAD, hope they catch the fuckers
  • 1 0
 nm
  • 4 0
 newton metres?
  • 2 0
 nanometre?
  • 3 0
 nautical miles?
  • 2 1
 What the actual eff?!
  • 1 0
 yea but why?
  • 2 5
 Self righteousness. They're on the side of Mother Earth, and you (or people who built and ride this park) are just a Nazi on a bike. That's what they tell themselves, anyway
  • 3 0
 @TheR: And you know this how? I'm not buying it.
  • 2 4
 @overmyhead: Just a guess, but I find that's the same mentality that leads people to string fishing line across trails and other acts of sabotage. Also reminded me of the time eco-terrorists set fire to Vail Mountain about 20 years ago. Photos were eerily similar. Check it: www.outtherecolorado.com/the-night-vail-went-up-in-flames
  • 2 0
 @overmyhead: Yeah - it's not this.
  • 4 4
 Are we sure it's not just the battery of an ebike catching fire?
  • 1 1
 It starts to look a little suspicious when money gets involved so quickly
  • 1 0
 That's such a daft thing to say without knowing any of the facts. The fire could easily have threatened the future of the bike park. Luckily it was discovered quite early on and dealt with quickly, meaning the damage was limited. I'm sure they won't get anything like the cost of the ramp and hut back from the insurance company. Any money from the fundraising that isn't needed will go to the local air ambulance. Sometimes it's worth engaging your brain before casting aspersions.
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