The National Trust
The National Trust have brought to our attention a couple of issues that they are concerned about, and have asked for our help, the first is a nasty virus that is spreading across the Long Mynd and Stiperstones, the virus is called of Phytophthora (means “plant destroyer”), Phytophthora is a large group of pathogens that cause diseases in plants, you may have heard about the fungi affecting larch trees in the UK. Another type has been killing heathland on Cannock Chase, and is at present killing the bilberries on the Stiperstones and recently spread to the Long Mynd itself. It has been found at several different locations and it is thought that it is spread by the shoes of users to the area. There are of course, many other ways that the virus can travel, but the Trust feel that they need to take some action to try and prevent further spread. One of these actions has been to ask for the co-operation of the fell running community and this could be as simple as good hygiene for our shoes. Simply washing you fell shoes in a stream before and after runs can prevent the virus spreading.
Following such a high profile event as the Relays it is only natural that attention is brought to some of the more popular routes used by fell runners. One such route is the descent from Yearlet into Townbrook Hollow, a popular route choice on the Long Mynd Valleys Race, we are aware of other parts of the Mynd that the National Trust refer to as “Wet Flushes”. They are asking us, as Race Organisers to try and avoid those sections (see attached map).
There are other places that are also causing us concern. These tend to be on descents regularly used by fell running. Two such areas are the descent from Barrister’s Plain into Ashes Hollow and the descent into Carding Mill Valley used by the Long Mynd Valley’s Race. Again, the National Trust does not want to fence off any of these areas, but are asking for a commonsense approach.
As part of our approach to this problem we are considering altering the route used by the LMV for 2014, please see attached map.