The Forestry Commission trails of North Wales have a new mountain bike ranger in the shape of Andy Braund, 39. Local rider Andy appears to have had range of fascinatingly hazardous careers to date, a stint as a safety adviser in Libya (murder, stabbings, landmines – presumably the prevailing safety advice is “avoid those things”) not least among them. He also took part in rebuilding operations in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and did rope access work on the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Straits.
After that little lot, taking care of the FC Wales trails in Gwydyr and Coed y Brenin should be a doddle. Certainly last time we checked, landmines weren’t a typical obstacle. Although with trail design trending towards the more extreme, give it a few years and who knows?
But we digress. Andy lives in Penmachno and has been voluntarily fettling up the trails there for a couple of years, so moving to doing the same but getting paid for it is clearly packed with win.
“Being able to go home to the family after a day’s work is fantastic, and to work on the trails I ride regularly is a dream come true,” said Andy.
“The challenge is maintaining all the trails and evolving the product so that it continues to provide an exciting experience for people.”
He hopes to create more volunteer schemes for trails and encourage a greater sense of ownership among local riders.