Forestry Commission Wales has appointed a new mountain bike ranger – Carl Denham, a rider with 20 years’ experience.
It will be his task to ensure that the government department’s trails in South Wales – including the Afan Forest Park and Cwmcarn tracks – remain challenging and safe.
“I have been accused many times of being obsessed with the sport, and it is this dedication that I aim to bring to the job,” Denham said.
“The ride quality and safety of the trails is paramount, and a large part of my role will be ensuring that any issues are resolved to ensure all users are getting the best ride experience possible within their fitness and skill levels.”
Forestry Commission Wales looks after the 320,000 acres (130,000ha) of public forests owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.
The popularity of centres like Afan and Cwmcarn – the Forestry Commission Wales routes receive around 155,000 visits a year – mean the trails need constant monitoring and maintaining, and one of Denham’s first tasks is to review them all to ensure they remain in first-class condition.
He is also working closely with the Welsh Downhill Mountain Bike Association to prepare the Rheola course for a round of the National Points Series in September.
A veteran of many cycling events and an organiser of the fundraising Brechfa Team Enduro, Denham said: “My working experience and my love of mountain biking will be combined in this job to be an ambassador for mountain biking in the area, embracing the challenges ahead of me and providing a great mountain bike experience for all who visit our woodlands.”
Deputy forest district manager Peter Cloke said Denham’s appointment reflected Forestry Commission Wales’s commitment to mountain biking, and he was confident they had found the right person to look after the trails while the permanent manager, Dave Williams, recovered from a serious injury.
For more information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk.