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New trail planned for Eastridge Woods

The newly formed Eastridge Trail Partnership aims to revamp facilities on the Forestry Commission estate at Eastridge Woods, near Shrewsbury to make it the county’s premier woodland mountain bike venue.

Eastridge Woods is situated in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and already boasts several designated trails, and this new independent, voluntary group of enthusiasts aims to re-invigorate Eastridge.

Although there are several routes already, the FC fills the area has been left behind with the development of trails in other areas of the country. The Eastridge Trail Partnership “hopes to take mountain biking in Shropshire to the next level.”

Eastridge Trail Partnership Project Coordinator, Alex Langley, says: “Eastridge has been the focus of most local mountain bikers for the past two decades and was once seen as favourite race venue. As years have gone by the face of mountain biking has changed in the UK and now Eastridge finds itself in a position to re-establish itself as a mecca for modern mountain biking. Everything about Eastridge is perfect; the lay of the land, the variety of terrain and the underlying geology make it a perfect venue.”

Dennis Moir, from the Forestry Commission in the Marches Area, added: “We’re pleased to be supporting the Eastridge Trail Partnership and look forward to seeing the Woods cater for the demands of today’s mountain biking enthusiasts.

“Eastridge Wood is within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the hill top location provides glimpses of breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.”

The Eastridge Trail Partnership has already agreed and planned a new red route for expert cyclists around the woods, incorporating all the best existing bits of trail and linking them together more coherently. The group has put in over 500 hours of work from their core management team of eight members and with their own insurance now in place they are set to embark on a volunteer based mission to modernise the already extensive trail network.

The aim is to complete the red route by spring 2010 and have all the existing tracks fettled and sufficiently linked by the same point in time. There are also plans for a skills area to be in place by spring 2011.

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