Half a mile or so away from the sleepy little village of Ashover, in Derbyshire, lies Butts Quarry, one of the oldest motocross tracks in the country. But soon, if a small minority of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) villagers have their way, the MX track will be no more. Because, as is so often the case when people move within earshot of a race track, a handful of them who would rather it wasn’t there are trying their best to have the council shut it down. But the Dring family, owners of the venue, are determined to fight it every step of the way.
I don’t know about you, but I get really, really angry when I hear stories like this. How can anyone want a venue like this closing down? A venue that’s been welcoming motorcycle enthusiasts partake in their passion for decades. If you’re not into motorcycles, that’s fine, but why must you piss on everyone else’s chips, just because you can hear them enjoying themselves when you’re not?
Perhaps you’d prefer it if these men and women, boys and girls, didn’t have anywhere to go and ride their off-road bikes legally. I suppose they could always use the street outside your house. Would that be less of a nuisance? It’d be your own fault. And you’d deserve it.
I was lucky enough to spend a day at Butts Quarry late last year (2021), riding GASGASs latest crop of off-road bikes. It was the first time I’d ever been there, and let me tell you, it’s an absolutely awesome place. If you weren’t going there, or nobody told you it was there, you wouldn’t notice it. It’s tucked away in an old quarry, out the way, all full of trees. And with all those trees, I can’t imagine the noise travels that far, even on the busier days.
In the case of Butts Quarry versus the village people, the village people have already won, really. In an attempt to appease the locals, Butts Quarry MX have already agreed to limit their open days to one in every 14, and only between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Imagine trying to run a business that you were only allowed to open once a fortnight.
The case was considered closed by the council (and by the Dring family) nevertheless a fresh abatement notice arrived two days before Christmas (2021). Yep, two days before Christmas in, as far as the Dring family are concerned, a deliberate attempt to make their appeal more difficult. But they will appeal the abatement. They will fight it with confidence, according to a statement by Barry Dring.
Join the fight
And you can help Barry and the Dring family save Butts Quarry from the NIMBY crew. All you have to do is sign the petition created by Barry, which is already at 14,900 signatures. Of course, even with 100,000 signatures, there’s no guarantee the NIMBY brigade won’t have their way; yet another fantastic motorsport venue could still be closed. But every little helps, and the more people that join the fight the better. Do you want to be part of the fight? All you have to do is click here to find Barry’s petition, and put your name down.
Because, of course, it’s not only Butts Quarry that’ll be affected by the decision to close this venue. The ramifications are far reaching. The more measures that are put in place to quell the activities at race circuits, and the more that are closed down by NIMBY arseholes, the stronger the precedent becomes for exactly that type of thing. Before you know it, there will be no more race circuits in the country. And then it won’t just be motorsport venues. They’ll want anything shutting down that makes a sound. Football stadiums, music venues, aerodromes, pubs, schools, shops; where do you draw the line?
So let’s nip this in the bud, right now. Right now, before our very way of life is eroded into dust, just because some boring pricks like the peace and quiet.