SSDT Faces Loss of Land

The Scottish Six Days Trial, organised since 1911 by the Edinburgh & District MC Ltd, faces yet more land challenges thanks to illegal use of private roads and moorland in the Scottish Highlands.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, 15th July on social media, the committee issued a warning that land in the Rannoch area could be lost to the event if illegal use continues.

It is an offence to use Forest and Land Scotland property for off-road vehicle activity without written permission and indeed vehicles have been seized by Police Scotland in the past and riders/drivers charged accordingly. Forest & Land Scotland rarely allows permission without payment of an agreed fee.

The land in the Scottish Highlands can be very sensitive and therefore off road motorcycle and other activity is not welcome at certain times of the year and indeed at any time if permission is not sought and obtained.

The statement on social media ‘facebook’ read:

“SSDT risks losing access to a major estate due to illegal riding.

Despite the current lockdown, some people are choosing to flout the rules and risk the future of our sport by illegally riding on private land and forestry.

Illegal activity on forestry land and unauthorised uses of Private Venues is a criminal offence and puts all legitimate events at risk.

The Edinburgh & District MC have been approached by a major estate concerned about unauthorised riding around the Rannoch area. If this continues, the SSDT could lose the entire Thursday route, a route that has been part of the event for decades.

One of the major concerns is the environmental impact of using motorised vehicles off road in areas with fragile ecosystems. Particularly at this time of year, the remote parts of Scotland are the habitat of endangered ground nesting birds and other wildlife extremely vulnerable to disturbance. The SSDT and other off-road motorcycle events are carefully organised taking these factors into consideration and working with bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage ensure that events cause minimum impact. Unauthorised indiscriminate riding over these estates can undo years of good work and cause irreparable damage to wildlife and the environment.

Some individuals seem to think that old drove roads and tracks are vehicular rights of way – in fact there are very few rights of way for motorised vehicles in Scotland. Most have an average length of less than 1 mile and are short stretches of roads that have not been adopted by the local authority. None of the off-road routes that the SSDT use are vehicular rights of way, they are all privately owned and using motorised vehicles on them is not permitted without specific consent from the landowner.

The club has, for over a century, had a fantastic relationship with the estates that the event passes through – I am sure that nobody would like to jeopardise this historic event through thoughtless unauthorised riding.”

3 thoughts on “SSDT Faces Loss of Land”

  1. This would be areal shame, and needs to be highlighted in Adventure bike publications,MCN etc, as the people that are buying adventure bikes think they can ride anywhere. There is a guy around my area of Hampshire that’s rides a Honda Africa Twin and posts videos of himself riding like a loony on the legal tracks. I do hope the club does not loose the land.

  2. Is the old Marmor Road open to legal Trail bikes??

    Military Road to Fort William

    Mamore road.

    Start location: Kinlochleven (NN 183 624)
    End location: edge of Fort William (NN 097 724)
    Geographical area: Lochaber
    Path Type: Military Road
    Path distance: 17.5km
    Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

    Back to Search

    Route Description

    This route is part of the West Highland Way, the final section for those going from south to north.
    Leave Kinlochleven along the B863 on the north side of Loch Leven as far as the school. From there follow the path which climbs northwest up the wooded hillside, cross the private road to Mamore Lodge and higher up join the track from the lodge that leads west up the north side of the glen of the Allt Nathrach. The track leads unmistakably over a pass at about 330m and descends to Lairigmor. The way to Fort William continues along this track, which swings north and at the derelict house of Blar a’ Chaorainn joins a narrow public road leading to Fort William.

    OS Landranger 41 (Ben Nevis, Fort William & surrounding area)

    Heritage Information

    The Old Military Road was constructed by General Caulfeild in 1749-50 from Fort William southwards to Kinlochleven, and from there south over the Devil’s Staircase and across the western edge of Rannoch Moor.

  3. It surely can’t be hard to catch the perpetrators,they must have vans or trailers etc parked within the the vicinity of the areas mentioned ,perhaps vigilante locals could pass on numbers to the police ,after all they have a vested interest to protect the area ,doubt its bona fidi licensed riders flouting the rules ,therefore whether publications in the media would make any difference

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