We’ve reported previously on the planned developments in Kielder Forest, with big plans for purpose-built MTB routes in the 155,000 acre forest. Some of the early phase development has been completed, with a skills area near Kielder Forest opening last year and a 9-mile family-friendly trail.
There’s more on the way though. The Kielder Partnership has announced that work is underway to build two new long distance trails costing £850,000, and when completed will make the Northumberland wilderness one of England’s biggest networks of purpose built single track trails.
A 14.2 kilometre “blue” graded trail will open up the vast landscape to casual and intermediate riders, while a tougher 18.7 kilometre “red” route will get pulses racing, taking in higher elevations and linking with the 7Stanes biking centre on the Scottish side of the Border at Newcastleton.
Funding has come from the Northumberland Strategic Partnership via Single Programme funds from One NorthEast, European Regional Development Fund, Forestry Commission, Tynedale Council and the Kielder Partnership.
Alex MacLennan, Recreation, Communities and Tourism Manager with the Forestry Commission, says: “We’ve made massive strides in developing facilities and bike tourism at Kielder Water & Forest Park in the last three years. Last autumn we unveiled the 670 metre (2,000 foot) Deadwater Trail, England’s highest single track route, which has helped us achieve international recognition. This latest investment will provide thrilling new opportunities for bikers of varying abilities, giving unique access to one of Europe’s most majestic landscapes.”
Three construction teams have begun work on the all-weather trails, which will be surfaced with thousands of tonnes of crushed local stone. Wildlife and ecological surveys have been undertaken to ensure bikers steer clear of sensitive conservation sites.
More at www.forestry.gov.uk/northeastengland.