South West England to get new mountain bike trails

£7.5m investment to boost riding

Mountain biking in South West England is to get a boost as a result of a £7.5m investment to develop the sport and increase tourism across the region.

The overall project, labelled 1SW, is being led by the Forestry Commission and will include the development of new purpose-built mountain bike trails, specific mountain bike skills areas, bike hire facilities, cafes and information as to how and where to ride across the region.

Partnerships between the South West Lakes Trust, the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Trust and Bristol City Council are all key in the success of the overall project, which aims to attract more visitors to the South West, particularly “‘non-traditional’ visitors to the region’s countryside,” according to Mike Johns of the South West Regional Development Association.

Six cycling hub sites will be based at the following locations, where new trails and facilities will be developed upon consultation with existing users and locals: Haldon Forest Park, Teignbridge; MoorsValleyCountryPark, East Dorset;

Ashton Court
and Leigh Woods, North Somerset; Cannop Colliery, Forest of Dean; Plym Woods, Plymouth; Lanhydrock and Cardinham Woods, North Cornwall.

Paul Hawkins, 1SW Project Manager said: “The 1SW project will make off road cycling attractive and accessible to everyone. Off road cycling in woodlands is enjoyable whatever the weather and provides a fun alternative to beach based activities, particularly outside of the main summer months.”

Off-road trails aimed at novice riders will be based around lakes operated by the South West Lakes Trust, and will serve to encourage more beginner riders to the sport.

A new website with details of all new trails, along with difficulty levels, nearby accommodation, watering holes and the like will be live very soon. We’ll keep you updated with any news on this.

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