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Nature reserve and BMX enthusiast clash after cycle track built without permission

PUBLISHED: 15:55 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 October 2020

Justin Wakefield has moved to Fakenham as he hopes to get people back on their bikes. Picture: Justin Wakefield

Justin Wakefield has moved to Fakenham as he hopes to get people back on their bikes. Picture: Justin Wakefield

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A nature reserve and a BMX enthusiast have clashed after he worked on a cycle track without their permission.

Known as the ‘beehives’, Justin Wakefield worked on the track which is found just off Norwich Road in the town, Picture: Justin WakefieldKnown as the ‘beehives’, Justin Wakefield worked on the track which is found just off Norwich Road in the town, Picture: Justin Wakefield

Pensthorpe nature reserve owns the land called the Ballast Pit, nicknamed the Beehives, in the Valley Way woods at Fakenham, where Justin Wakefield carried out work to the bike track.

The nature reserve said there was no communication between them and Mr Wakefield over the development. They said they would have said they are not interested in creating a track.

Mr Wakefield, 26, is going to towns across the county to show off places to ride your bike, after moving to Fakenham six weeks ago to set up a permanent base of operation.

He was determined to complete the job after seeing young people riding their bikes around the town centre.

Justin Wakefield  is going to towns across Norfolk to show off places to ride your bike, after moving to Fakenham. Picture: Justin WakefieldJustin Wakefield is going to towns across Norfolk to show off places to ride your bike, after moving to Fakenham. Picture: Justin Wakefield

The content creator completed work on September 28.

Richard Spowage, Pensthorpe reserve manager, said the track damages the area.

“Pensthorpe is a conservation area and it is part of our land, so for someone to just dig it up it damages the very essence of what we are doing here,” he said.

“We would never condone that sort of behaviour and would never condone any behaviour that would put anyone at risk.

Known as the ‘Beehives’, Justin Wakefield spent two weeks working on the track which is found just off Norwich Road in Fakenham. Picture: Justin WakefieldKnown as the ‘Beehives’, Justin Wakefield spent two weeks working on the track which is found just off Norwich Road in Fakenham. Picture: Justin Wakefield

“We will be visiting the site and we have put signs on site that the action taken was inappropriate and we will take action.”

Mr Wakefield has been riding bikes since he was eight and started travelling across the county to promote bike riding five years ago.

He said that the track is now being seen by more people.

“I felt like I was doing something for everybody,” he said.

Known as the ‘Beehives’, Justin Wakefield spent two weeks cleaning up the track which is found just off Norwich Road in Fakenham. Picture: Justin WakefieldKnown as the ‘Beehives’, Justin Wakefield spent two weeks cleaning up the track which is found just off Norwich Road in Fakenham. Picture: Justin Wakefield

“People walked past the track and did not take notice. Now, there are people who go down there and use the site.

“The track is getting more people into the land and discovering Pensthorpe.

A lot of people who have seen my posts online were not even aware that the trail and the woods existed.”

Pensthorpe said they have been maintaining the site for the last 10 years.

They added that there was an existing cycling area and last year they completed major work to make it safe.

Mr Spowage added that they intend to keep the area open at this time, but they “cannot condone any action which is negative to what we do”.


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