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TV documentary to highlight 4x4 and trail bike issues in national park

October 18, 2011 5:07 PM
Originally published by High Peak Liberal Democrats

The challenge of managing opposing views about 4x4 and trail bike use on green lanes in the Peak District National Park is highlighted in a new TV documentary.

Fly-on-the-wall film maker Richard Macer spent a year following staff from the Peak District National Park Authority's rights of way team for the BBC4 documentary Tales from the National Parks.

He was given behind the scenes access to help the public understand the challenges of managing a complex legal issue that arouses strong passions about the balance required to conserve and enhance the environment, while allowing people legal access to the countryside.

The documentary features local residents and protest groups wanting 4x4s and trail bikes banned from Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs) in the national park and motor vehicle users who are fighting to keep their legal rights to continue using these unsurfaced countryside routes.

Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: "We gave Richard Macer and his team full access to internal meetings, meetings with the public and our committees so viewers could see the real issues the rights of way team face on a daily basis.

"During the course of the year's filming you are able to see the very different views of people on both sides of the argument, how the issue develops and the difficult and challenging role we play in managing the issue.

"Our staff are incredibly passionate about the national park and work really hard to make it a better place to live, work and visit."

Part of the documentary covers the decision to introduce an experimental Traffic Regulation Order banning 4x4s and trail bikes from using Chapel Gate, near Edale and ends with news that the order is being challenged in the High Court by the Trail Riders' Fellowship.

The documentary will be shown on BBC4 at 9pm on Sunday 30 October.

It is part of series which also features controversy over planning applications for a large zip wire in the Lake District National Park and a gold mine in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.