A new project to improve the UK’s trail network is asking for local mountain bike riders to get involved.
The UK Trails Project will be taking place over the coming months. Bringing together the views of both landowners and riders, it aims to better understand the trails in each region of the UK, all in an effort to improve their long-term sustainability.
Between November and January next year, the project will be on tour, giving local riders the chance to tell their stories and give an insider’s view on how and where they ride.
According to the project team, the UK-wide tour is just the first step of the project.
“We want to learn from riders across the country and develop a nationwide picture of who is riding what, when and where,” UK Trails Project wrote on its website.
The project will be a rare opportunity for the views of both landowners and local riders to influence a UK-wide approach, with the aim of finding new opportunities for riders while reducing the pressures on those who provide them.
The views of genuine riders will be used to develop a ‘Right trail, right place, right people, right time’ report to improve current trails and possibly lead to the creation of more.
UK Trails project manager David Evans will be travelling around the UK to meet riders and explain the project.
For those that can’t attend in person, he will also be hosting an online workshop in January 2024.
“We don’t have all the answers, but we fully understand it takes years of dialogue to create a viable riding venue and would love you to share your experiences,” the team added. “Once we gain a fuller understanding of what’s happening across the UK, we can publish our report to share and celebrate your successes.”
Content and community lead for Chain Reaction, Matt Cole, welcomed the project.
“The health of the UK’s trails is the life blood of local mountain biking, which is why Chain Reaction has been sponsoring trails across the UK for years,” he said. “No one understands the trails better than the riders themselves, so it’s a brilliant idea to include their voices.
“I’ll be attending at least one of the events myself, and I encourage all UK mountain bike riders and trail builders to do the same. The network of incredible trails across the UK is a massively undervalued national asset, one that should be celebrated and invested in.
“We have an opportunity here to put our trails on the map and give them the opportunity to be even better in the future.”
Check out the dates and venues below to register and get involved.
Plas-Y-Brenin – 21st November 7-9pm
South East England
Surrey Hills, Hurtwood Inn, Peaslake, 29th November 7 -9 pm
Barry Sidings Café, Pontypridd – 5th December 7 – 9pm
North West England
Hawkshead Brewery, Staverley- 6th December 7-9pm
Outdoor Recreation NI Offices, Belfast – 13th December 7-9pm
Birnam Institute, Dunkeld – 9th January 2024, 7-9pm
North Central England
Sheffield – 11th January, 7-9pm Venue TBC
Northampton Venue and Date TBC