BMX pump track plan for camping pod site near Lancaster

Ian and Alfie Armour at Box Tree Farm in Wennington
Ian and Alfie Armour at Box Tree Farm in Wennington

Plans to convert farmland in a Lune Valley village into a BMX pump track have been submitted to Lancaster City Council.

The proposals for a 2,800sqm section of waste ground at the 30 acre Box Tree Farm in Wennington would provide a “challenging” course for experienced riders, and a more gentle section for beginners.

Ian Armour, who has owned the farm since 2009, and built 11 award-winning camping pods on the site in 2011, said his 13-year-old son’s interest in cycling led him to consider the move.

The development would include a 12 space car park, and Ian said he hoped the facility, if granted planning permission, would “get kids out from in front of the screen.”

He said: “The majority of us want our kids to be fit and healthy.

“My 13-year-old son Alfie got into BMX and pump tracks three years ago, but you have to travel to get anything serious.

Alfie Armour at Box Tree Farm in Wennington.

Alfie Armour at Box Tree Farm in Wennington.

“There’s one up in Ingleton, but it’s quite low key.

I’ve done some research into it which involved visiting the urban bike track in Leeds, which used to be a municipal golf course.

“I was a bit worried about complaints, but what became apparent when we got there, is there’s so much concentration and it’s really quiet.

“People aged from six to sixty were there. I didn’t hear a single swear word, shout or scream. I thought that this would fit really well here at Box Tree Farm.

It would be a dedicated pump track catering for different abilities.”

Ian has further plans for four new holiday lodges alongside the 11 camping pods, which he says has “gone from strength to strength”.

“This would also be a bit of an addition for the people who come and stay here,” he said.

“The fitness and wellbeing side of things is really important.

“We have a 30 acre farm, and there’s a big area of wasteland, which is basically just a huge pile of inert clay.

“We’ll use Ingleton stone so it’s in keeping with the surroundings, and we’d hope to set up a loyalty or member type scheme for the track.

“We’ve got great bus and train transport links, and a good catchment area with Bentham, Kendal, Kirkby Lonsdale, Carnforth, Lancaster and Morecambe.

“I’m getting excited about it now!”

Ian’s son Alfie, 13, who attends Lancaster Royal Grammar School, said he was also excited about getting a BMX pump track in his back garden.

WHAT’S A PUMP TRACK?

A pump track is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping”—generating momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedaling or pushing.It was originally designed for the mountain bike and BMX scene, and now, due to concrete constructions, is also used by skateboard and scooter riders, and accessible to wheelchairs.

Proposals for a BMX facility at Ryelands Park in Lancaster seem to have veered off track.

A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said: “A suggestion for a pump track on Ryelands Park was put forward, but following consultation it became apparent there was no consensus from the community that it was something they wished to be explored.

“Without wide support a bid for the necessary funds to build such an attraction would not be successful and the idea is currently in abeyance (a state of temporary disuse or suspension).

“It remains an ambition of the council for a pump track to be built somewhere in the district and we will be continue to explore options and funding bids, should the opportunity arise.”