News & Blog 

2020 now with no added Batches

Since 2013 the Batch Burner has been driven by the children of our local Primary School here in Norbury, driven by wanting to give them something better and balance out the challenges of a small rural School. That’s what we set out to do, raise funds to buy sports equipment, fund days out and update equipment. As a consequence that fundraising has opened the door to grants and support to reward our drive and your kind support. We now find the School in much better shape, but we are not done yet.

So for 2020 we have a growing catchment so it feels right for the route to reflect that, therefore the Batch Burner will feature no Batches, zero Long Mynd content. We are heading out to the West of the Long Mynd towards the Stiperstones and wider area to explore some new trails and experience a new view.

A bigger catchment will give us bigger route scope into the future but don’t worry Long Mynd fans as we will be back in the Batches for 2021. Here’s a note from our head explaining what’s going on in class:

We are thrilled that the Batch Burner and its fantastic riders have been able to support Norbury Primary School and Nursery now for so many years; the difference that you have made to our rural school is just phenomenal! Over the past few years, we have been working very closely with Stiperstones CE Primary School, which only has 32 pupils and was finding it very difficult to continue. Two years ago, it became very clear to governors that funding for Stiperstones CE Primary School would no longer be enough to sustain high quality education at the site and a solution needed to be found. The school and its building were very important to the community and so we looked for a new way of working in the future so that the school could remain open and a vibrant part of the community. We needed to be innovative.

As our two schools are close together, we decided that we would keep Stiperstones School open, but using our own buses, transport all the children to Norbury to be educated in one place. That way we could provide all children with the same fantastic opportunities. This we have now done and it is working out brilliantly. With your help, we have built a beautiful new classroom to accommodate the additional children; we provide them all with fantastic learning opportunities out of the classroom, such as adventurous activities; residential visits; theatre trips; and trips to support their learning in all subjects. As well as this, we have been able to retain the Stiperstones School building and are busy setting it up as an outdoor and adventurous centre so that all of our children get to experience many more thrilling adventures. We are also setting up a design technology workshop, an art studio and gallery, and a teaching kitchen where we will teach many children to cook for themselves. Most importantly of all we will be taking all of our children mountain biking from there.

 So you see, The Batch Burner, along with other events that we organize, such as Stiperstones 5 in 10, is more important to us than ever. So many more children will benefit from your support. So from all of us, a huge thank you and we hope that you have a great ride again this year. It’s the best route ever! Hope to see you soon Les Ball Headteacher (and mountain biker)

New Batch Burner Storage Shed

Life time batch burner supporters Charles Ransfords and Sons, supplier of every single wooden stake and post used out on course and to lay out event HQ have come up with the goods and gone above and beyond to support our rural School.

At extremely short notice the team have constructed us an enormous, very substantial new PE shed, they are also delivering and installing the new shed on Friday.

We truly admire how local businesses and individuals help us out like this, it makes life easier, thanks guys.

2018 Batch Burner, Powered by local business

As we move to our final event preparations and see things come together we can really appreciate how the support of our volunteers and local business supporters really make a difference. In particular Ludlow Brewery for making out Batch Burner pint glass vision come to life with one for every rider. Cheers for the support.

Also as we start to mark out the course, every wooden stake that we have used for all previous events has been kindly donated by Charles Randsford & Son Timber Merchant, not only that but they have provided timber products to help create an outdoor learning space at Norbury School. Thanks for the ongoing help.

It doesn’t stop there, we have also received fantastic support form many businesses including: Torq, Montgomeryshire Water, Wentnor Stores, Harvest Wholefoods, Wildes Plant Hire, Think Idea, Barclays Bank and Plush Hill Cycles. Every pound of goodwill donated by these businesses saves funds that we can direct into the School charity fund. Thank you all.

2018 Batch Burner Venue change

For this year we won’t be using Norbury Village hall but you will find our event HQ just down the road, past the School. Use postcode SY9 5EB to get you close then follow the signs and marshalls to find us.

Inspired by the BatchBurners cake stall? Maybe?

Cakes and Mountain Bikes are always a good combination and we can fully appreciate how they have inspired the latest Torq gel flavours.

TORQ have delighted their loyal fan base yet again with the launch of 2 brand new flavour profiles of their hugely popular TORQ Gel. The new Lemon Drizzle and Cherry Bakewell variants follow TORQ’s respected tradition of crafting authentic gel flavours which sound like they should be served up as a dessert rather than be consumed during vigorous exercise…

Both new gels are formulated using TORQ’s trademark 2:1 Maltodextrin:Fructose blend for superior speedy carbohydrate delivery. Backed by over 20 peer-reviewed published studies listed on their website, 2:1 Glucose:Fructose derivatives are absorbed into the blood 40% quicker than glucose-only formulations. Each gel also packs a punch, delivering 30 grams of carbohydrate (significantly more than many other brands) allowing it to function as part of the unique and user-friendly TORQ Fuelling System, where TORQ’s energy products can be combined together for optimal fuelling purposes.

Anyone who has tasted TORQ’s Rhubarb & Custard, Raspberry Ripple or Apple Crumble offerings will know that TORQ’s flavours are quite literally to die for and so will not be disappointed with these new culinary masterpieces.

The Cherry Bakewell flavour hits you firmly between the eyes and there’s no mistaking the rich raspberry jam, almond frangipane and subtle cherry topping. The Lemon Drizzle flavour is subtler, where the initial welcoming sensation of soft Victoria sponge cake is followed by a velvety citrus lemon drizzle to finish. Initial head-to-head taste trials seem to have them pretty evenly matched, although you couldn’t compare two more different flavour profiles.

TORQ’s new gels are available at over 600 Cycle, Run and Outdoor retailers all over the UK or direct from TORQ

Ransfords Timber Specialists: Thanks for the ongoing support

Back in 2013 we approached a local timber merchant as we needed to get some wooden stakes to help mark out the start/finish area, car park and the course, holding up event signs and linking the course tape to help riders find their way. Six years later and 100’s of timber steaks later local timber merchant Ransfords in Bishops castle are still happily delivering supplies for free to help us keep down the cost of running the event so that we can maximise the funds for charity.

For 2018 Ransfords have gone above and beyond to not only supply our annual stake delivery but to supply the materials to create a new decking area outside of one of the classrooms at Norbury School giving the teachers more opportunities to take learning outdoors.

Huge thanks for the ongoing support, if you need a timber specialist with roots in the local community we can vouch for the quality of what these guys do and how they do it. 

2018 Back to the Batch’s

Listening to last year’s feedback Batch Burner 2018 will see a return to The Batch’s of the Long Mynd. It will be a little shorter and with slightly less climbing than last year but still an excellent challenge.  We will take you the full length of the hill taking in spectacular views and classic single track, new climbs plus a little bit of something different in the forestry. 

In year one of the Batch Burner we set out to showcase the best of the Long Mynd Mountain bike trails in a challenging ride to test the fitness and skill of our riders. Every year since we have gone on to develop the route to bring new trails and features taking us further afield. This has all been possible due to the generosity of our landowners, farmers and the massive volunteer labour force it takes to organise and run such an event. We have plenty of new bits to test your skills and interest but please remember that some of the trails we use are only open to bikers on this one day by special permission of the National Trust and the Forestry Commission.

Due to a diary malfunction our usual HQ at Norbury Village Hall is not available this year so we are holding the event in a field and tented village just a few hundred meters East of the Hall.  Just follow the signs.

The 2018 route map will be made available to all entrants the week before the event. Entries go live at 7:30 pm Sunday 28th January.

Bikes and Beer rolling into 2018

After 5 years of issuing a finishers mug to all our riders, we thought it was time to move on to a different vessel. So when Ludlow Brewery Company offered up their support the decision was made, enter the Batch Burner Pint glass. 

For 2018 we are delighted to receive the support of Ludlow Brewery, we are always happy to receive support from local Businesses especially those that have a cycling or mtb connection. Ludlow Brewing Company have a passion for producing fine ales but also have a keen interest in cycling and complement what the Batch Burner is all about. Welcome Ludlow Brewery by raising a glass.

Batch Burner 2018 entries go live on Sunday 28th January at 7:30pm on the British Cycling website. Event day is Saturday 9th June. This year we are Back to the Batch but more on that later.

Leading by example, getting ahead on the Batch Burner

For 2017 Norbury School head teacher Mr Ball will once again be addressing the crowd at the start of the event  before the Children ring the School bell to set the riders off . But this year he will then be getting on his bike to ride the course. Accompanied by wife Lynn the pair have been in Batch Burner training alongside helping out with event planning plus the organizing of the Junior Batch Burner and a little trail building alongside the day to day running of Norbury Primary School.

We think it’s great to see a head teacher inspiring and setting such a positive example, we know he has already been out scouting the route plus with the Junior Batch Burner on the 19th of May he will be well practiced come Batch Burner day. Please help support Mr Ball in his Batch Burner challenge by donating to the Norbury School just giving page and helping spread the word.

Look out for Lynn and Les Ball out on the Long Mynd, good luck folks and keep pedaling 

2017 Junior Batch Burner

The children of Norbury Primary School and Nursery would appreciate your help, Norbury Primary School and Nursery is an outstanding, small, rural school set amongst the rolling South Shropshire Hills. In light of the ongoing funding cuts to education and closure of so many rural schools, our children want to ensure that their school is able to continue and thrive for years to come. We believe that outstanding learning is achieved through challenge and practical experiences. Aptly, inspired by our annual PTA fundraiser, The Batch Burner – a 53km, gruelling Mountain bike challenge – our children are going to challenge themselves and undertake the 2017 course – The Junior Batch Burner. All pupils will take part in the event on the 19th May 2017, from Nursery to Year 6. Our fully trained 9 to 11 year olds will attempt the whole challenging Batch Burner course in a relay fashion whilst the younger children will complete their section in a monitored, suitable, safe environment….all on wheels.

All money raised will go towards the desperately needed proposed expansion of our school premises to ensure Norbury Primary School and Nursery can thrive in this forever demanding financial climate. The children would like to seek your support in whatever way possible. Whether it be through promoting our event or making a donation to the cause. We would be so grateful for your help. We will not be beaten, the children are going to get on their bikes and fight for the future sustainability of their school. For more information please contact us at or simply visit our Just Giving Page. Thank you for your support.

The Children of Norbury Primary School and Nursery. 01588 650 207

We have a new sponsor for 2017  the Bridges YHA

As we approach the go-live for entries to this year Batch Burner, I’m sure everyone has made a New Year’s resolution to increase (or start) your training regime.  Here at BBHQ we’d love to hear your training stories, good or bad J.  If you’re choosing to make the Long Mynd your training ground, why not make a trip of it and stay with one of our partners?

 This year Mick Boulton from the YHA Bridges in Ratlinghope is one of our main sponsors.  Mick and his family bought this wonderfully traditional YHA back in the 90’s and have modernised it to what is now; a very comfortable rural idyllic place to stay.  One Trip Advisor reviewer describes the hostel as “Like something out of an Enid Blyton novel“ which seems appropriate seeing as The Bridges YHA was first founded in 1931 (the decade in which Blyton published some of her most famous works).  The Shropshire Way runs past the front door, running east up to the Long Mynd and West to the Stiperstones with excellent trails for bike riding or walking, so plenty of scope for Batch Burner training. Mick & team provide excellent facilities for cyclists with a secure cycle store on site as well as the all-important drying room.  Of course, you will have built up an appetite during your ride so why not enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal to replace those burned calories, followed by a pint at The Bridges pub right next door?  Once you’ve replenished your reserves you can simply relax in front of the open fire in the hostel’s cosy lounge.

 Mick was also sweeper for us on our first Batch Burner in 2013 and was very generous with advice and help on setting up this event. He is a very keen mountain/road biker himself and runs week long alpine road cycling tours in the summer over the French alps as well as a summer solstice‘ dusk to dawn’ ride here in Shropshire. Do give him a call if you are interested in joining in.  ph 01694 722350

This small hostel, once the old village school, is tucked away in the Shropshire hills with the Long Mynd to the east and Stiperstones to the west. It is an ideal spot for ramblers with the Shropshire Way passing close by and a great network of uncrowded paths to explore. Ideally situated for the End to End cycle route and plenty of mountain biking opportunities. The nearby small towns of Church Stretton, Ludlow, Much Wenlock, Bishops Castle and sleepy Montgomery are all worth a visit. There’s also the Acton Scott working farm museum and Snailbeach former lead mines close by. The hostel has a good kitchen, lounge with wood fire, books and games, a drying room, a food shop and a large garden. One en suite room has some facilities for the disabled, phone to discuss your requirements. Meals are available, camping is allowed and there is a pub nearby.

Saracen bikes confirmed as our 2016 mug sponsor

To maximise our income for Norbury School we rely heavily on donations of time, services and hard cash to deliver the event. Producing 350 limited edition mugs takes a big chunk of the entrance fee that’s we are so grateful for the team from Saracen bikes sponsoring the 2016 mug. A great British cycle company with a focus on producing great bikes designed with the UK trail rider in mind which fits in just fine with the Batch Burner. The Saracen demo truck will be on site on event day if you have any energy left to tryout some great bikes.

2016 Batch Burner Route

Every year, we aim to provide a challenging off road course showcasing the best of the Long Mynd’s trails. Maximising the off road trails but being sympathetic to other trail users, local residents, land owners and farmers plus being mindful of the local wildlife and live stock and avoiding the many areas of scientific and archaeological interest. Putting a successful route together is indeed a challenge. For 2016 we have had great support from local land owners and the new route is looking epic with around 50% of the route using private land with access only granted for event day.

Please respect the access laws and don’t try to ride the course at any other time, this will help us with access in future years.

The final sections of the route will also be weather reliant, in wet conditions the terrain will be difficult to pass and easily damaged so we have a diversion ready to deploy if the weather is not on our side.

 We are very excited about the 2016 route; it will show how vast and beautiful the area is. Enjoy.

Norbury Primary School

And Nursery


Tel./Fax 01588 650207


Headteacher: Mr. L.P. Ball


29th December 2014


Dear riders,

As the time rapidly approaches when you can enter for the 2015 Long Mynd Batch Burner, I thought it a good time to let you know what an amazing difference the 2014 event made to our wonderful little school.

Last year’s event was a terrific success and raised over £9600 from entry fees and the sale of cakes, teas, hot dogs and beer etc. on the day. Every single penny of this has been, or will be spent directly on our children, with the vast majority of funds providing them with exciting, adventurous and practical experiences which will remain with them for life. We believe that all children deserve the opportunity to be adventurous and learn to manage risks for themselves, but most importantly to thoroughly enjoy their time at primary school. We also believe that this philosophy aids their achievements in all aspects of learning including academically; in November 2014 Ofsted agreed with us and judged our school to be outstanding in all areas. They were particularly impressed by the impact of fund raising from The Batch Burner. Thank you.

Over the past year the funding which you have helped to generate has provided many amazing activities. For example: a four day residential trip for Years Four, Five and Six to New Quay, Wales where children completed a two day dinghy sailing course (at sea), went kayaking, climbing, dry slope skiing and paddle boarding; a two day trip to the same venue for our younger children (some of whom were only six!) where they took part in kayaking, climbing, rock pooling and enjoyed a very muddy assault course. Our older children have also benefitted from completing silver level of The John Muir Award, which provided them with six days of adventure on The Stiperstones, culminating with them guiding our friends from Graiseley School, Wolverhampton around a very challenging circuit without adult help; a superb achievement. Next year the same group aims to complete the gold level and climb Snowdon. In addition to these events each class also benefited from one off-site activity every term which has included trips to the theatre, various castles, cities and educational sites such as Jodrell bank Space Centre, all of which made our learning so memorable and such fun.

 Looking forward to 2015, we have already planned some incredible activities to be partly funded by the Batch Burner. We will be taking a group of children to France for four days and our younger children will be visiting Llangollen for two days of fun including gorge walking, canoeing and rock climbing. Even more exciting still we will be starting an adventure club where one of our regular activities will be mountain biking on the Long Mynd; we will even be hiring quality bikes for those who do not own their own.

The greatest thing about the support which you give us is that it enables all children to take part in every event, regardless of financial circumstances and this makes all the difference, so thank you for making all this possible.

We sincerely hope that we will see you again on the 6th June 2015; we’ll entertain you with our ukuleles (whatever the weather), keep you going with our amazing energy bars and food stations and get your bike clean afterwards while you enjoy a hot dog, a few drinks and some great music.

We look forward to seeing you there for another memorable day.

 Les Ball


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