(c) Tom Hill
Wow. What a six months we’ve had. In half a year, we’ve achieved a huge amount: so much more than could ever be summarised in a quick paragraph. That doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try though...
Deeeep breath: we have mobilised more TrashMob members than ever to set off on Purposeful Adventures and take care of their natural places. Our Spring Trail Clean 2021 was our biggest yet and removed 30,356 pieces of single use pollution (SUP) from our trails. We wrote down and shared our organisation values. We recruited more A-TEAMers and reshaped their role. We expanded the TrashMob Academy and reflected on the positive difference it has made to the participants so far. We published our first ever State of the Trails Report… not just a first for us, but the first of its kind anywhere in the world. We also held a summit, with delegates travelling from across the UK to talk trash with us in person; representatives from the bike industry and media who care as much as we do about how we can make a difference. And, let’s remember it’s only June!
We are, and always will be an organisation of action. Doing stuff. Getting out there. Which is why the next sentence feels a little strange for us to say. For the next month we are doing... nothing. Nada. Zip.
Disconnecting to reconnect
Those of us who live and breathe Trash Free Trails are taking a step away from spreadsheets and screens, Zoom calls and instagram posts. And, well, we are doing what in the old days was called taking a holiday. As with everything we do, there is a purpose to our downtime though. While we are disconnecting from the “work” (it will always feel strange to call a passion work, but anything that involves time at a desk when you’d rather be outside is still work; no matter how much you love it) we are reconnecting with the most important parts of our lives. We will spend time with family, time on our bikes, and visiting friends. Time in nature, time by ourselves.
(c) Sam Dugon
We will, in effect, be walking our own talk. We encourage you to reward yourselves as part of our Do It Ourselves toolkit; take a step back and appreciate the difference you’ve made. So we are too. And during our down time, it’s not in our nature to stop altogether, so we’ll be pondering our next steps; the big decisions that get crowded out by day-to-day tasks and try to answer the “I wonder if…” kind of questions.
In short, Dom, Rich and the small group of freelancers and volunteers who make up the TFT family will be taking some personal and professional R&R with the aim to come back in a month’s time fully recharged and raring to charge forward with fresh vigour.
We can only take this step because we have an amazing support team in place. Trash Free Trails is and will always remain a small organisation. We will never have thousands of employees and a grand head office. What we do have though is the thousands of volunteers who get out there and take action to care for their trails and wild places. We know that many of you will continue to do this regardless of whether we post on social media for a few days. In fact; not one of us will ride past a plastic bottle on the trail, just because it is our day off. We are just focussing our energy elsewhere for a short while.
We have told our incredible A-Teamers that we have no planned trail cleans for the next month, and if they want to make the most of some downtime they are welcome to as well, but we know they’ll still be hitting their local hotspots if they have time.
(c) Sam Dugon
What does that mean for you?
You might not even notice we are gone. We’ll be a little quieter on social media; we would be completely silent but we are still catching up on telling you about some of the amazing stuff our TrashMob and A-TEAM has achieved in the last few weeks.
We will probably be a little slower getting back to email or social media messages. In fact we might not reply at all until we are back; we hope you understand.
Around the middle of July, you probably won’t see anything at all on our social media. Instead of scrolling, instead of grafting over getting those posts right, we’ll invite you to join us in some purposeful reconnection with the outdoors, in whatever way best fits you; riding, running, roaming or anything in between.
And, as always, we encourage everyone to Do It Ourselves
(c) Tom Hill
We’ll be back with a bang on 24th and 25th at (ssssshhh… it’s a secret… Red Bull Hardline!), followed by an action packed autumn and winter, with impactful and downright fun projects to get involved in.
For now though, TFT out, and we’ll leave you with some of the team’s plans once they hit their Out Of Office...
Dom: Practicing for his Red Bull Hardline debut (we think he got the wrong end of the stick about our involvement), bikepacking in the Lake District and testing out his newly kitted out TFT mobile office in the Welsh hills with Lion!
Lion: Eating, sleeping, running away from Dom
Rich: Finishing, or at least making some decent progress on that damn camper van.....
Sam and Emma:Off canoeing with their adventure buddies, fueled by wood fired pizza…
Pete and Rosie: Chatting nonsense and skittering bikes through the North West Highlands and sleep so hard we drool into our own ears… Other than that beer, gardening and chicken wrangling will feature heavily. Pete is also also going be trying to ride 9 Munros in one hit, reprising his role as the Lord and Saviour for Mr Joe Barnes, maybe bagging another Munro, taking photos of rad things, trying to find where the local sea eagles are at... Plus the usual nonsense.
Leon: Riding his mini motorcycle, hitting the trails in the morning early to ride fresh trails , sending it to the welsh coast for beach, swimming, bodyboarding, bbqing, chilling and taking in the views and a cheeky road ride.
Luke just picked up a new foster dog over , so the next few weeks will be full of fun, adventurous walks, belly rubs and kisses I imagine 🐶, He's hoping to squeeze in a ride to the new Exeter bike park too!
Tom L is trying to buy a house, house train a toddler and still find them time to ride bikes, float kayaks and enjoy a few beers.
Gill’s Weekly litter picks will continue, running in the hills with the doglet and getting her nature connection themed art ready for Surge street arts festival in Glasgow 10-11 July 😊 should be fun!
Matt's going to be riding bikes and drinking beer as much as possible! 🚵♂️🍻 Oh yeah, and training to be an on-call firefighter from the second week in July!
Tom: Celebrating his brother’s wedding and hopefully waving goodbye (pun intended) to his broken wrist
Ian W: Mostly fixing bikes and trying to get out on his new whip for shakedown laps. There may well be beers drunk, barn building admin and donkey work to be done as well...
See ya later.