Mountain biking on The Cloud
The Cloud, at Bosley in Cheshire, is one of the last few remaining places in Britain – and indeed the world – where rare lowland heath and its associated wildlife habitats, flourish. It is an important and fragile wildlife habitat, and as such, has been designated as an area of Special Biological Interest.
Wildlife, flora and fauna
The Cloud is visited by species of birds such as wood warbler, tree pipit and lesser redpoll – all of which have been identified as Red List endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These birds, have, along with 16 other endangered species, visited and bred on the Cloud over the past decade.
Amber-listed birds such as willow warbler and dunnock have made their home in the hedgerows on and around the site, and the Cloud is also home to nationally scarce deadwood inverterbrate fauna.
Our rangers work to maintain and look after this unique environment, so that the Cloud can continue to be enjoyed by future generations, and to ensure that its precious wildlife habitats are not lost forever.
Outdoor activities at the Cloud
Many people come to the Cloud to enjoy the wonderful views from the top, and to walk the paths that crisscross the hill.
Whilst we welcome walkers, we ask that they keep to the footpaths in order to avoid damage to this fragile landscape.
Cycling and mountain biking are not permitted at the Cloud, but unfortunately, we have seen an increase in this type of activity recently. Bikers are using public footpaths, which is both dangerous and illegal, and carving routes through the landscape which damage the flora and fauna of the Cloud, as well as creating gullies at ground level which fill with water and exacerbate erosion.
Whilst the National Trust wants to encourage activities in the outdoors, these should take place in areas where such activities are sustainable and permitted and do not cause damage to or impact on, the environment.
The Cloud is not suitable for cycling/mountain biking and we are asking those people who participate in such activity at the Cloud to consider the damage they are causing to this fragile landscape. They should also be reminded that it is illegal to cycle on public footpaths, and that the Trust is currently working with Cheshire Police to monitor such activity at site.