Pre-YouTube-era famed Bar End Copse jumps under threat

Winchester City Council plan to bulldoze some woodland to create parking spots for some coaches, woodland that contains a much revered riding spot.

Local riders have taken to the internet and launched an online petition titled Prevent the Destruction of Winchester’s BMX/MTB Trails & Mature Woodland. As of January 16th the petition was only a couple of thousand signatures away from its target of 25,000.

Riders of a certain age may well remember Bar End Copse from various MTB and BMX edits from the early and mid noughties.

Petition statement

“As local riders we are passionate about the trails at Bar End Copse. We have built and maintained them by hand for almost 21 years. The trails have been documented in national and international magazines & videos since 2004. Despite their notoriety, local children as young as five continue to make regular, free use of the site. The woodland is also very rich in wildlife from field mice to deer.

“We believe access to local woodland for both cycling and witnessing nature first hand is more important than inflating Winchester’s visitor numbers beyond their current annual level of five million. As local residents ourselves, we confirm that this is plenty.

“Whilst we support WCC’s aim to keep coaches out of the town centre, we strongly urge WCC to make better use of the neglected Southern P&R site, particularly Area 6, as opposed to pulling down mature woodland to expand St. Catherines P&R at Bar End. If Area 6 is somehow not sufficient for the additional coaches, there are around ten acres of flat grassland at the southern end of the South P&R which would be far less disruptive to local wildlife, residents and cyclists.”