Terms & conditions

When you apply for a permit, you must sign up to the general terms and conditions listed on the reverse of the form. The permit issued may also stipulate some event-specific conditions to legally protect the company and ensure all risks to water quality are minimised. You will also be provided with an to help you and your participants understand the impact of recreation on water gathering land.

Risk of diarrhoeal illness from partaking in recreational activities on agricultural land

Organisers have pledged to take action after more than 150 British mountain bikers were laid low with a mystery illness after a marathon race. An official report into the outbreak of vomiting and diarrhoea which followed the Merida Bikes MTB Marathon Series round in Builth Wells, Wales, has concluded that it was probably caused by mud contaminated with sheep droppings. The National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) and Environmental Health officers at Powys County Council launched an investigation following the event on 5 and 6 July 2008. Officials emailed 664 riders who took part and received 355 responses. Of those, 161 reported symptoms such as tiredness (159), diarrhoea (151) and abdominal pain (131). Only six non-riders were reported to have fallen ill. The investigators concluded that the outbreak was probably caused by campylobacter, spread to the cyclists by mud which was contaminated with sheep faeces. Heavy rain meant the course was awash with slippery liquid mud which splashed onto riders' hands and water bottles. The report acknowledged that, given the nature of mountain bike events, it would be impossible to eliminate the risk of catching such an infection, but made the following recommendations:

  • Participants should avoid using soiled drink and food containers
  • Pre-packaged food should be eaten out of the wrapper
  • Where possible, hands and utensils should be washed before consuming food and drinks
  • No open food should be served at events.
  • Drinks produced in large volumes for consumption by participants should be dispensed using a method which does not require the repeated immersion of utensils.
  • Organisers should consider providing facilities to wash hands and water bottles with clean, running water
  • Wherever possible, courses should be re-routed to avoid areas which are heavily contaminated with animal faeces
  • Mountain bikers, particularly those who are vulnerable to infection, should be alerted to the potential risk of acquiring zoonotic illnesses from participation in events which cross land used by agricultural and other animals.

See bikeradar website for more information.

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