The all new npower renewables Energy Trail is the latest addition to the internationally acclaimed Afan Forest Park mountain biking complex near Neath and Port Talbot in Wales.
Afan is already the most visited mountain bike destination in the Principality and the second most popular singletrack venue in the UK, with bike-visit numbers increasing from 9,920 in 2002 to 60,960 last year.
Peter Cloke, of the Forestry Commission Wales, said:
“The Energy Trail is an impressive route that takes riders to parts of the Afan Valley that are virtually untouched – you can’t reach these locations any other way but on a bike. It is a fantastic way to really experience the area and is a huge boost to Afan’s already extensive mountain bike offering.”
Paul Cowling, head of business development at npower renewables who are providing long-term sponsorship for the new trail, added:
“Tourism contributes over £68 million to the Neath Port Talbot area each year, and we hope our investment will further encourage economic growth in this part of Wales.”
For the trail’s official opening, the Dropoff Café at Afan Forest’s Glyncorrwyg Mountain Bike Centre, played host to the Secretary of State for Wales and MP for Neath, Peter Hain, who said:
“The commitment shown by all concerned, including npower renewables, the Forestry Commission and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to the economic revival of the Afan Valley is really making a difference to the surrounding community. The Afan trails are a real example of how successful this partnership process can be to help re-ignite the fortunes of struggling areas.”