The first section in what woodland chiefs hope will become a world
class network of mountain trails in 155,000 acre Kielder Forest, Northumberland, has been unveiled.
A half-kilometre loop, complete with a wooden decked, or “North
Shore”, segment has been created by the Kielder Reaver Trailbuilders, working with the Forestry Commission. The move gives Britain’s biggest man-made wood its first ever purpose-built, single track route and more projects are on the drawing board.
“Our vision is to transform Kielder into a top venue, renowned throughout the UK as providing an awesome off-roading experience,” explained Alex MacLennan, Forestry Commission Recreation, Communities and Tourism Manager. “We are at the start of the road, but investment in such facilities in Scotland has seen rural businesses reap the rewards of an influx of visitors.”
The training loop, near Kielder Castle Visitor Centre, will eventually comprise three training trails, catering for both beginners and
experts. Kielder Reavers was set up last November and now has 50 volunteer members from across the region, meeting up every second Saturday each month to enjoy a labour of love trail building.
Chairman Ian Bennion explained:
“The loop offers a sweeping ride through the trees, across timber
bridges and over bumps to test the rider. It’s much safer using
singletrack trails than public roads and far more exciting. With its vast areas and stunning terrain, Kielder has massive biking potential. We now want to take the vision forward with more trails.”
Plans have been drawn up to build a 15 kilometre route linking the 2,000 foot summit of Deadwater Fell, overlooking Kielder village, to the 7Stanes routes in Newcastleton. Moves are also afoot to bring two
major off road events to Kielder this Autumn, further boosting tourism.
Kielder Community Council Chairman, Barry Noble, added:
“Other parts of the UK have seen immense economic benefits from
mountain bike trails, so I’m delighted Kielder is now on the map. The
project has shown the worth of community involvement, with volunteers
contributing their time and ideas to complete work ahead of schedule.”
The Kielder Reavers is a community group set up by the Forestry Commission to develop mountain biking facilities in Kielder Forest. The group helps design new trails, stages events and undertakes trailbuilding. To find out how to join contact Alex MacLennan on 01434 220242, or visit www.kieldertrailreavers.org.uk