Today's Weather
Church Stretton
18 January, 2019, 4:53 pm
real feel: -6°C
current pressure: 1010 mb
humidity: 88%
wind speed: 7 m/s SSE
wind gusts: 9 m/s
sunrise: 8:12 am
sunset: 4:31 pm


Pole Bank Trail Re-Surfacing

This week we have had mountain bikers, both local and from further afield complain about how they (in this instance “they” are National Trust and Shropshire Council working in partnership) have surfaced the track from Pole Cottage to Pole Bank and down to the Medlicott junction therefore ruining it for mountain bikers. Having ridden the freshly surfaced track I happen to agree, as a keen mountain biker the trail now lacks any real challenge, sanitized of its natural features, a real shame.

However, we need to get some perspective on the matter. Firstly the Long Mynd is not actually exclusively a Mountain Bike centre, we (as Mountain Bikers) are only a small party of users, and many different people use the hill for recreation and a place of work. So why bother re-surfacing? The path is a public right of way and is a bridlepath. The surface was not conducive to horse’s feet with large loose stones. The main issue is that the path is getting wider over time as users move into the heather in order to avoid stones. We have seen this before in the 1990s when two or three paths become opened up and what was once a beautiful looking hillside looks scarred and damaged. The new wider, smoother path will now also allow access to Pole Bank for less active and less able users.

If making a mile of Long Mynd trail less interesting for some Mountain Bikers means that Pole Bank is accessible to wheelchair users and families then what’s the problem? As a consequence of this work potentially more people will be able to enjoy the view from Pole Bank and more people have an introduction to the great outdoors and might be inspired to get into Mountain Biking.

Re-Surfacing Work at Pole Bank, April 2014

Re-Surfacing Work at Pole Bank, April 2014

The management of Long Mynd is nothing new, many a trail has been surfaced and maintained to improve access and manage erosion. Many people comment on the natural beauty of the area, however it’s no longer natural, if it was not for the bracken burning and the grazing the beautiful heather would disappear, all the bridleways we ride are manmade, evolved from drovers roads and used for access for many years.

These trails and countryside need to be managed for all users, both people that work the land, and recreational users. It’s a job that requires finding a balance between conservation and development work like this. It’s a job that we appreciate as on the whole we benefit from the work. It’s also a job that we are glad we don’t have to do because you can’t please all of the people all of the time, we just hope that they are considerate and appreciate the common goal.

2014 MTB Marathon comes to Church Stretton

We are excited to see the Cycle-Tec MTB Marathon series coming to Church Stretton in 2014. The Long Mynd will be a treat for competitors and having so many riders descend on the town can only be positive news for our local businesses.

The event has been taken over by Cycle-Tec Events Limited who are experienced in the organisation of events of this type.

The event takes place on Sunday 29th June 2014 and starts and finishes at Church Stretton school. The start time is at 10am.

Official Event Website and Booking Form

Sunday 29th June 2014

Event Type
MTB Endurance

Church Stretton

Event village (with caterers, bar and entertainment)
Trade stands and demo bikes
Camping from Friday evening to Monday night
Showers and toilets
Full route marked courses
Pasta party
Bike wash
Live entertainment
Medical support
Finishers T-shirts
Finisher times
Feed stations (with Torq energy products)
Mechanical assistance
Sweeper vehicle
Event photography

Registration Opens
Saturday 12 to 7.30pm & Sunday 8 to 9.30am

Start Time
Sunday 10am

Entry on Day
Yes, if not sold out (surcharges apply)

2014 Batch Burner

Batch Burner 2014 Booking Form

Established in 2013, the Long Mynd Batch Burner is returning in 2014! The event will take place on Saturday 7th June, 2014.

Organised and run by volunteers the Batch Burner promises to be the most fun and friendly Mountain Bike challenge event that you can enter.

On 11th May 2013 the first Long Mynd Batch Burner challenge mtb event took place on the Long Mynd in Shropshire, to raise funds for Norbury Primary School in South Shropshire. It encompassed 48 kilometres and 4000ft of the best of the Long Mynd’s trails and left the riders with tired legs and huge grins.

The event is organised by the PTA of Norbury Primary School (a tiny rural school located behind the Long Mynd) together with Church Stretton’s local cycle shop Plush Hill Cycles. Building on the work already accomplished by the local mountain bike community and the major land owner the National Trust, everything has come together to offer what promises to be a well organised and relaxed event, taking in all of the best singletrack in the area.

The event will be a mass start challenge event, so it is not a race; it’s all about having fun and raising funds for Norbury Primary School (all profits will go to the School). Places are limited to 350 riders in 2014 to minimise the impact on the natural trails and avoid singletrack bottle necks. Your entry fee will include the usual race support and on arrival back at base live music and a barbeque plus a Batch Burner goodie bag. There will be a bar and plenty of cake too.

2013 Batch Burner start

Last Year’s Batch Burner Start

Batch Burner 2014 Booking Form

Sponsored by:

national_trust_logo1  logovw_logo


Wheels 2 Work

New electric bikes for Shropshire Wheels 2 Work and competition to name them

Job seekers in Shropshire have the chance to power over hills and arrive fresh for work, thanks to the purchase of new electric bikes (e-bikes) by Wheels 2 Work, part of leading local charity Shropshire RCC.  The scheme has just purchased seven new e-bikes, including three from Church Stretton’s Plush Hill cycles and are launching a competition to name them.

The e-bikes bought by Wheels 2 Work, will be loaned to those in need of transport to get to work, whether to take up a job offer or because they are at risk of losing their employment due to transport difficulties.  The Raleigh Dover bikes purchased from Plush Hill Cycles, come complete with a lithium battery with a range of about 30 miles and safety gear such as a helmet and high viz vest.  Members of the public are invited to submit names for each bike – with preference given to meaningful or funny names.

Chris Mason is a 29 year old manual worker from Clungunford. He was walking up to 15 miles a day in order to work at the Shropshire Spice Company in Clun. Chris joined the scheme in with November 2012 and has been trialling electric bikes for the scheme. The heavily subsidized loan has enabled him to save money for an e-bike – which he bought last week.

Davina Allen, Development Coordinator for Wheels 2 Work, said: “We work with our clients during their six month e-bike loan, giving them support and guidance they need to save money for their own transport.  Chris has been a fantastic client and I’m so pleased he’s now been able to buy an e-bike of his own.  We were really impressed by the service provided by Plush Hills and the quality of the bikes they provide”.

Since opening Plush Hill Cycles have been supplying quality electric bikes and service to rural commuters that demand reliability in all conditions. As a mountain and electric bike hire centre they have been promoting environmentally friendly pedal powered transport to local customers.  Plush Hill Cycles says: “We are delighted to be involved in such a worthwhile initiative that can literally change the lives of people living out in rural areas seeking independence and employment”.

Wheels 2 Work came up with the innovative idea to name their new bikes after struggling to see and remember long serial numbers.  Entrants should suggest a name and explain why it has been chosen.  Davina Allen said: “we’re hoping people respond with some good choices: the bikes could be named as a tribute to someone or just to make people laugh”.  Names should be submitted by 15th April to Wheels 2 Work by  telephone on 01743 237885 or on twitter @ShropsW2W.

About Wheels 2 Work

Shropshire Wheels 2 Work, part of Shropshire RCC, helps around 200 people each year get to work by providing transport advice and lending bikes, electric bikes and mopeds. The scheme was given a ‘Big Society Award’ by the Cabinet Office in February 2013.  To find out more about the scheme visit  or telephone 01743 237885.

Shropshire RCC is a leading local charity working with groups and individuals to improve quality of life and to strengthen communities in a rural county.

Plush Hill Cycles

Plush Hill Cycles is Church Stretton’s local bike shop and is very happy to get involved in anything linking the community and cycling from supporting charity events to help training young people in cycle maintenance, and selling, hiring and fixing bikes of course. For more information please visit or telephone 01694 720133.

Wheels 2 Work e-bike

Allen Timbrell from Plush Hill Cycles and Davina Allen from Wheels 2 Work, pictured with Raleigh Dover electric bike.

Haglofs Open5 Shropshire Hills

Haglofs Open5 Shropshire Hills

May 5th 2013. The Haglofs Open5 event is coming back to Church Stretton and the Shropshire Hills again in May 2013. From the Open adventure site:

The Shropshire Hills were another surprise location last series which many racers admitted they’d never visited before. We were so impressed with this little gem that we just had to return.

We think it will make a fitting location for the final event in the series too.

Again regular marshall Jim Rounsley is at the helm. With his attention to detail he is sure to organise another Haglöfs Open5 to remember.

Church Stretton Festival of Sport

Stretton Hills Biking will be having a stall at Church Stretton Festival of Sport, which takes place on Saturday 20th October 2012 from 10am to 4pm.

MOUNTAIN BIKING  –  Including mountain biking. For the ultimate mountain bike experience learn about mountain bike rides guided by experienced riders and qualified leaders over some of the UK`s finest natural trails set in the picturesque Shropshire Hills. For those less energetic – try out electric bikes.

CYCLING (ROAD) – Are you the next Bradley Wiggins. See some of the best road bikes available. Learn more about road cycling and consider becoming a member of a possible Church Stretton Road Cycling club. Take part in studio cycling.

The event will aim to:-

  • celebrate the sporting; leisure; and cultural identity of the Church Stretton Area – a chance to show the public what is available
  • strengthen community relations – sharing ideas and building a better network and understanding of each other’s sport; leisure; and cultural organization
  • celebrate and showcase the wealth of clubs and organizations in the Church Stretton Area – a chance to promote membership of clubs and the Leisure Centre
  • provide taster sessions for the public – a programme of events for the public to ‘have a go’.

This event is for all sport; leisure; and cultural clubs and groups in and around Church Stretton, and for the public to take part.

It isl be a free event – free for clubs and organizations and free admission for the public.


Blazing Bikes Robbery

Blazing Bikes were broken into during the night of 4th September 2012. Several bikes were stolen, including these stand out bikes:

Orange Mountain Bikes 322 – long,  stirling silver

Orange Gyro – Large, black gold edition

Labyrinth Minotaur – Large, white- full Bos suspension
Eddy Merckx – EMX3 Athena Carbon

there were more but these are quite obvious bikes.

Please contact Blazing Bikes on 01694 781515 if you have any information.

Protect Wenlock Edge Quarries

The National Trust are trying to acquire three disused quarries at Wenlock Edge to save their geology and wildlife and to allow more people to enjoy this spectacular countryside. However, a new planning application is jeopardising this vision.

Download NT newsletter here

The National Trust  would like as many people as possible to join  in resisting this planning application. The best way to make your voice heard is by submitting comments to Shropshire Council. To view the plans and register your views, follow this link to the Shropshire Council planning pages

Shropshire Council has launched a period of public consultation until 28 August 2012 on the Edge Renewables planning application, reference number 12/03034/MAW

Please help the National Trust  to save and transform this important conservation site so that more people can experience and enjoy the outdoors.

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