There has been a huge increase in the number of 40-ton timber trucks on Cam High Road, following the acquisition of the Greenfield forest site by the current owners of the Cam Forest.
Now up to 10 wagons a day are to be found descending the steep road to Gearstones, which serves as an important route for the Dales Way, the Pennine Way and the Pennine Bridleway.
Just last year the owners of Cam Forest gained approval for the limited extraction of timber over an initial period of 3 years, with up to 6 wagons per day. The acquisition of the much larger Greenfield Forest now means the initial period has been extended to 15 years, with the first three years seeing more “intensive harvesting”.
The new rules suggest that of the 10 wagons per day “five of these would take place before 9.30am and endeavours would be made for the majority of the remaining movements to take place after 3pm. Plus, no movements would take place at weekends or bank holidays.”
However, when DWA members were out on Cam on Tuesday, at least four wagons passed along the Cam Road between 2pm and 3pm.
Of course, it is relatively easy for walkers to step off the track and give sufficient berth to the huge wagons, but it is more difficult for horse riders and cyclists, and should any horse drawn cart happen to be heading uphill at the time….
A number of issues remain to be resolved, including the promise that a permissive Dales Way path would be made along the new track at the foot of the Cam Road, avoiding the busy B6255 to Far Gearstones.