‘Devastated’ owners of Derbyshire’s Butts Quarry plead with council as bike track faces closure in just three months

The owners of a family-run Derbyshire bike track have called on the council to listen to local residents as they battle against closure.

Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 2:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 2:18 pm

Barry and Jenny Dring, owners of the Butts Quarry bike track near Ashover, were hit with an abatement notice by North East Derbyshire District Council in 2020.

Previously, races had only been held once a fortnight at the track, but the council’s new ruling would only allow them to operate for 14 days a year.

The Drings spent two years and around £25,000 appealing the abatement notice. They were due to appear in court last month, but were informed the day before that their appeal had actually been submitted a day late, forcing them to withdraw.

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Despite being used for training by one of the best enduro bikers in the world, Butts Quarry is facing closure later this year. Barry and Jennifer Dring with Enduro GP rider Rosie Rowett came 4th in 2021 womens Endur race championship.

Barry said that, despite support from the residents of Ashover and beyond – with over 16,000 signing a petition to keep the track open – the restrictions now imposed by the council meant that they would be forced to close permanently.

He added: “The people of Ashover do not want this track shut, but unfortunately, the terms of the abatement mean we are losing 80 per cent of our business time.

“Riders can no longer come here because of the 96 decibel limit they have imposed on bikes. To put things in perspective, if you have an electric lawnmower at home, it runs at 98.

“We’ve tested around 1000 bikes here and of those, under this new limit, only three would actually be able to ride.

Butts quarry.

“It makes us unviable – the abatement notice means we will be shut as of August 1.”

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Jenny added that her family were crushed by the thought of having to close, after investing so much into the track over the years.

“They’ve not only devastated the riders that come here, they’ve devastated us as a family. We’ve lost our family-run business – we’ve put our heart and soul into Butts Quarry and it’s a travesty.”

The fight to save the track, however, is far from over.

Barry urged NEDDC to listen to the voices of local people, in the hope that it might convince them to change or remove the abatement notice.

“We would like to ask NEDDC if they could possibly get in touch with the parish council in Ashover to get their opinions on what has happened here.

“Hopefully the council will listen to the people of Ashover – they’ve always wanted to be the listening council, and we can try to get this overthrown if at all possible.

Rosie Rowett is an enduro rider who grew up racing at Butts Quarry. She is now ranked fourth in the world, and has represented Great Britain at international events.

She is backing the campaign to keep the track open, and said it was perfect for everyone from seasoned riders to complete novices.

“I’ve grown up coming here to Butts Quarry with my dad since I was four, we used to ride quads round here.

“This is one of my main training grounds for when I train for the world championships.

“You can bring anyone here to train, from kids on small bikes up to experts. You don’t have to be the best in the world to train here, but it’s one of the best places for me when I’m training.”