Baildon Moor is a registered urban common, with rights of access by the public for ‘air and exercise’ and recreation in a wide range of activities. The Moor itself is a relatively small area (399 hectares) with rich natural and historical features, yet is one of the most heavily used areas of upland moorland in the country, which has an impact on the moorland environment itself, and on other users. Several smaller adjacent areas are also included: Shipley Glen, Brackenhall Green; Baildon Bank; Baildon Green and Loadpit, Trench, Walker & Midgeley Woods.
Increasing numbers of people are visiting to enjoy the special qualities of the area: its inspirational open spaces, its opportunities for walking, riding and cycling; for bird watching and plant study; and for its rich historic evidence.
It is important that people understand the landscape they are visiting, and respect and value it.
In order to balance public enjoyment with preservation for future generations, FoBM have been working with the landowner (Bradford Council, Countryside and Rights of Way Service) to outline some key points for all users.
All users should try to leave no trace on the moorland environment:
- Always take all your litter and leftover food home with you. Bins are also provided in the car parks. Please don’t leave it for local people. Littering offenders can be fined a fixed penalty of £75.
- Consider the impact on the trail of how you walk, run or ride.
- Keep to existing paths and tracks; go through puddles, not around them to avoid widening the trail or creating new lines.
- Travel in single-file so as not to widen the track.
- Wet and muddy paths are more vulnerable to damage. If it has been raining for a while, please stay off the soft areas.
- Make no additions or alterations to the natural environment, such as by planting trees and flowers or removing saplings and wild plants.
- Lighting fires, barbecues and camping are not permitted.
- Avoid damage to walls, fences, gates and stiles.
- Protect archaeology, habitats and species; in particular wet heath vegetation communities and ground nesting birds 1, especially during the nesting period 1st March to 31st July.
- Avoid areas of wetland off the paths where threatened plant species are present
- Please follow the Countryside Code 2.
- Close all gates.
Individuals and user groups should all be seeking to minimise conflict between other users.
Show consideration for the safety of all users, both real & perceived. People should feel safe as well as being safe.
Baildon Golf Club maintains a golf course on parts of the Moor. Do take care near the golf course to be safe from stray balls, and avoid the tees and greens.
Walkers are permitted on the Moor.
As well as the general points above, issues for specific users are:
- Dog Walkers – Dogs are permitted on the moor providing they are under control at all times. This is a good place to exercise dogs, but it is every owner’s duty to make sure their dog is not a danger or nuisance to wildlife, farm animals or other people. Key considerations for responsible dog walkers are summarised below:
- Baildon Moor is an important breeding ground for threatened ground-nesting birds such as skylarks, curlews, plovers and lapwings. Keeping dogs on leads during the nesting season increases the chances of these birds breeding successfully, as dogs can scare birds from their nest and leave eggs/chicks exposed to gulls and crows. Many other birds visit throughout the year to feed and breed.
- Parts of Baildon Moor continue to be grazed by sheep and roe deer can also be found. As with all birds, dogs must not be allowed to approach or chase them.
- Even if you know your dog(s) is not aggressive, please respect other users and understand that they may feel intimidated or scared by them.
In light of these points, please do keep your dog under close control, especially during the nesting and lambing seasons. Please keep to the main paths and fairways, away from bird sites. From 2013, a Dog Control Order from BMDC requires dog owners to place their pet on a short lead if requested.
- Dog fouling changes the low nutrient composition of the moorland soil and upsets the delicate ecological balance. This is especially serious for some rare plants on the Moor 3. It is also distasteful and can cause infection 4, plastic bags of dog mess are even worse – Bag it, then bin it. Normal bins can be used for bagged waste, but it is much better to take it home and dispose of it there.
- The Moor is covered by the Council dog fouling regulations for all public spaces; many people are unaware of this. Violators can (and have) been fined a fixed penalty of £80 5. The Park Ranger Service carries out enforcement action of the Dogs (fouling of land) Act, to ensure that dog owners do not allow their animals to foul the parks and green spaces. Please report violations to: 01274 432696.
- Horse Riders – Equestrian access is permitted over the Moor
- Horse riding has more impact on the trails than walking or cycling. Please consider your route; avoid poorly drained areas and do not canter or gallop. Be aware that larger groups will cause more damage so consider splitting up and taking different routes.
- Stones with cup and ring carvings are found on the Moor that are several thousand years. These can be damaged by hooves so please avoid these important artefacts wherever possible – if you cannot see if it has ancient rock art, give it the benefit of a doubt.
- Horse drawn vehicles are not permitted on the Moor.
- Cyclists – Cyclists are permitted to use the bridlepaths on the Moor
Bradford Council – as the landowner – has also granted lawful authority for cyclists to ride on other trails on Baildon Moor, with the expectation that that all cyclists will act responsibly, and to comply with these conditions:
- Users agree to abide by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) UK Rules of the Trail 6.
- Users agree to show full consideration to other moor users:
- Give way to all pedestrians and horse-riders, leaving them plenty of room and be prepared to slow down, stop or dismount if necessary.
- When passing horses take extra care; some are spooked easily so never try to pass without calling out a warning.
- Remember how quiet bikes can be and how fast they move. Don’t surprise people – slow down and make sure they know you are coming. Some users may be hard of hearing and won’t hear the sound of your wheels approaching.
- Reduce your speed when you don’t know what’s ahead.
- The most rigorous studiesvii have found that per capita, walking and cycling tend to cause similar damage to trail surfacing. However, practices such as locking the rear wheel or spinning when climbing can damage vulnerable surfaces and must be avoided.
- Creating or modifying any jumps, berms, obstacles or new trails on the Moor (including Shipley Glen) is prohibited. The sole exception for this (for non-motorised vehicles only) is within Glovershaw quarry.
- Pedals and chainrings can also damage ancient carved rocks. Please avoid these important artefacts where possible- if you cannot see if it has ancient rock art, give it the benefit of a doubt.
- The impact of cycling will be monitored and reviewed if required.
- Cyclists/mountain bike users agree to actively promote this agreement.
- Model Aircraft – Radio-controlled gliders are permitted but not powered model airplanes or helicopters.
- Motorists – Motor vehicles of any kind are not permitted whatsoever on any part of the Moor or in the woodlands, other than on the main public roads.
- Parking is permitted only in the designated car parks at the Upper and Lower Eaves on Hawksworth Road, at Pennythorn Hill on Bingley Road, the three areas on Shipley Glen and several lay-bys on Glen and Bingley roads. It is illegal to park elsewhere. This damages the moorland and is a nuisance to other users.
- The gravel tracks on the golf course are for golf cart and maintenance use only, not for public parking.
- The roads to Dobrudden Caravan Park from Bingley Road and to Crook Farm Caravan Park from Glen Road are for private access to these sites or use by authorised users only.
- Off-road access by motorised vehicles such as quad and dirt bikes and 4x4s is strictly illegal and is a criminal offence. This abuse is one of the largest and constant threats to Baildon Moor, causing significant and lasting damage to the moorland habitat and archaeology and is a major nuisance and hazard to legitimate users.
Gathering descriptions, registration numbers, time and date and pictures are important for successful follow up and prosecutions. You can make a report anonymously. The Police are taking these incidents seriously, with public co-cooperation. Warning notices have been posted on the Moor and drivers have been prosecuted. A number of vehicles have been seized and destroyed.
Please report all such incidents to:
- Baildon Town Council Environmental Warden:
- Mobile: 07538 380921 (2.5 days per week) or
- Police; Shipley and Baildon Neighbourhood Policing team:
local non-emergency telephone ; or 01274 537454
Report online: http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/reportcrime
- Registered Moorwatch users can enter a report on http://www.moorwatch.co.uk/ This site is used by the police and local authorities to monitor hotspots of illegal activity
- Please also email: FoBM Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hunters – Any form of hunting, shooting, stalking and other such game ‘sport’ is strictly illegal. All incidents should be reported to the Police.