Mike Tearle’s a busy man. The Forestry Civil Engineering recreation engineer is not only responsible for the new trails at Bedgebury in Kent, he’s also designed a trail system at Haldon Forest Park, near Exeter. The Haldon trails officially opened at the weekend, offering over 20 miles of access for bikes, walkers and horse riders.
The 3,500 acre forest was already well-used by local riders, and they’ve helped FC to get the trails built. A sizeable grant from Sport England (£760,000, no less) has gone into not just the trails but also a new car park, toilet facilities, play equipment for the nippers, signage and all the rest of it.
Haldon now has four bike trails, from the Family Cycling Trail, through the slightly more rugged Adventure Cycling Trail and on to the singletrack and freeride trails. There are two singletrack trails, a six-mile Red Run and a one-mile Black Run packed to the gills with timber structures (including a rather whizzy-looking helter-skelter thing), jumps and drops.
We haven’t had a chance to visit ourselves yet, but we’ll get down there to give you the lowdown soon. In the meantime, you can find Haldon Forest Park just off the A38 at Exeter Racecourse – take a look at www.haldonforestpark.org.uk for details.