Moray's Glenlivet estate has seen construction work begin on a series of purpose-built mountain bike trails.
The £500,000 project development will see the cross-country bike trails created predominantly in the commercial forest area, taking advantage of the wilderness and picturesque setting. Two routes (10km and 19km) will use a combination of existing forest tracks and newly built single track trails.
The development is led by The Crown Estate and includes a MTB centre, with space for a cafe, info area, toilets and car parking. The Crown Estate’s chief executive Alison Nimmo cut the first sod to mark the start of construction at the Carn Daimh Forest, near Tomintoul.
Nimmo said: “This is a fast growing sport and this extraordinary new biking trail will be an important addition to the Cairngorms visitor offer. The trail, designed and built by local businesses, is a great example of local partnership working. It will help to underpin the area’s economy and attract visitors and spending power to this beautiful part of the National Park.”
Paul Masson of Cycletherapy is the consultant who designed the new trails. He added: “Designing a set of trails that will please as many people as possible is a tricky proposition, but the task at Glenlivet was made much easier by the terrific terrain available.
“These trails will draw in a wide range of users, from families with young children to local and visiting hardcore mountain bikers. There will be child-friendly trails that are safe, fun and weatherproof as well as exciting, feature-rich trails for the experts. The trails will be as natural as possible and will really complement and integrate with the environment of the National Park.”
Funding for the project is being provided by The Crown Estate, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cairngorms National Park Authority and Moray Council. The contractors are D&I Rutherford of Dornoch who are working with Mark Hedderwick of Hitrak Ltd and Paul Masson of Cycletherapy. Both Paul Masson and Mark Hedderwick are Strathspey-based and have worked on several major bike trail construction projects in northern Scotland – including Laggan, Nevis Range and Golspie. According to the blurb, Masson has pioneered design techniques which have driven innovation in bike trail construction.
The project is expected to complete in summer 2013.
PICTURED: The Crown Estate’s Chief Executive Alison Nimmo with Paul Masson of Cycletherapy.
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