Show your support For new National Trust Cycle Trails

Proposed New Cycle Routes By the National Trust! Show them your support!

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New National trust Proposed Cycle routes!! We need Your Support!! Like this Photo and add your Name so we can help make this route happen!!
Tennyson Down

The Isle of Wight is well served with a network of bridleways and lanes which provide some enjoyable circular cycle routes. However there are very few bridleways west of the River Yar and in particular there are no off road routes to the Needles. The Tennyson Trail is a restricted byway from Newport to Freshwater Bay but is just a public footpath from Freshwater Bay to the Needles. There is a short section of bridleway on the north side of Tennyson Down and a permitted horse path which provides a circular route. (see map2). Mottistone Common The Tennyson Trail traverses Mottistone Down where it is a restricted byway (essentially a bridleway) and there is a short length of bridleway (BS 88) which links the Down with Mottistone Common but  terminates at the boundary with the Common. (See map 1) In addition BS85 would make sense as a permitted bridleway as it would create a more interesting cycle and horse riding route. People visiting the National Trust holiday cottage on Mottistone Common would also benefit from having more cycle routes right on their doorstep.


Cycling, including mountain biking, is becoming increasingly popular as a way of getting exercise, enjoying the countryside and as a sustainable form of transport. The National Trust has recently developed an “Outdoor Vision” which recognises that cycling is one way of enjoying the countryside in its care as well as other outdoor activities. People are increasingly looking for more off road cycle routes and are now regularly cycling on footpaths across Tennyson Down and Mottistone Common despite “No Cycling” signage. We could spend time and effort in trying to prevent cycling on these footpaths. However if suitable routes can be found, cycling on established paths and tracks does not cause any more significant damage to the natural habitats than the passage of feet and the farm animals that graze the Downs.Permitted cycle route from Freshwater Bay to the Needles

There is already a permitted horse path on Tennyson Down shown on Map 2. The proposed cycle route starts from the east end of Bedbury Lane and utilises existing public bridle ways F 47, F48 and 46a before joining up with public footpath T24 to High Down pit car park. The work involved in making this section of T24 suitable for cyclists and walkers would include: clearing some scrub and trees to make the path wide enough for walkers and cyclists to pass safely, and changing a kissing gate to a self closing gate. As the tree removal could only take place during the winter it is proposed that this section of the route would actually be a second phase to allow enough time to make it suitable.The proposed route would continue from High Down Pit up the public footpath T24 which is part of the permitted horse path, past the replica Nodes beacon, through a self closing gate along the T24 to cross the whole length of West High Down. This is proposed as the first phase of a new cycling route as it would only require signage.

The public footpaths from Freshwater Bay over the top of Tennyson Down would not be part of the proposed route as it is felt that the thin turf is too fragile to tolerate this additional pressure. The long slopes are too tempting for cyclists to speed and present a hazard to walkers. In order to discourage cyclists from taking this route it is proposed to install kissing gates with “RADAR” locks at the three entrance points around Easton Field. This will mean that disabled people with motorised buggies will still be able to gain access along the whole of Tennyson and West High Down. It is not possible to physically bar cyclists between the Replica Nodes Beacon and the route up to the Tennyson Monument (T25), however clear signage will be installed to discourage people from doing so.West High Down is relatively level meaning that speeding cyclists would be less of an issue and the terrain is open with clear vision. Signage would encourage walkers and cyclists to use two distinct paths at least for part of the way.Permitted cycle path crossing Mottistone Common. (See map 1). The Mottistone route could also be made a permitted horse path which would provide a link for horse riders between the west end of Mottistone Down and Strawberry Lane.

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