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How do we support the trail network?

We work across a wide variety of trails and with a large number of partners to ensure the growth in mountain biking is sustainable and delivers quality rider experiences.

Manon ruari trail summit dig Credit Innes Graham

We work across a wide variety of trails and with a large number of partners to ensure the growth in mountain biking is sustainable and delivers quality rider experiences.

We do this while ensuring public resources are effectively deployed and help mitigate against any environmental impact from the location and construction of trails.

We also play an important role in advancing the arguments and rationale for strategic projects across Scotland.

The following is an outline of all our main activities in supporting a sustainable, diverse, and fun trail network - each element is explained in more detail using the links across our site. We hope you can engage and volunteer in the trail network and, if you can, contribute to the Scottish Trail Fund to help secure a sustainable future for our trail network for years to come.

Trails Associations

We are creating a growing network of rider-driven trails associations that work with landowners to protect, enhance and grow our trail network. By providing support and guidance to these associations we help agreements be reached with landowners to protect, enhance and grow our trail network, which is essential to create a network of varied and exciting trails across the country.

We provide start-up funding for groups providing them with trail inspecting, maintenance, and building training courses, first aid courses, governance advice, buying tools and protective clothing, and cover insurance.

Trails Associations are essential if Scottish mountain biking is to achieve this and minimise the risks to our access rights in Scotland.

Obviously, access to land is crucial to the work of Trails Associations and we provide support and a recognised/respected voice which helps agreements to be reached with landowners, largely through Memoranda of Understandings.

Once groups are up and running we help promote sessions, spread good practice, and aid group collaboration through a national trails association virtual meeting and help share templates of documents/policies (eg risk assessments, MoU’s, insurance documents etc).

Find out more about how we support Trails Associations.

Trail summit group shot

Our Strategic Projects

Identified within the MTB Strategy are several key strategic projects which will require significant investment but will return the largest benefits for riders, growing participation, sport development, and economic growth.

Our role is to advance the strategic justifications and rationale for these projects, support local delivery partners, and help ensure the quality of the product meets riders expectations and global MTB market trends. These projects include a Bike Park in the Tweed Valley, a trail centre in Aberdeenshire, implementing MTB bike plans across Highlands, refresh of 7stanes and supporting the Scottish Cycling Facilities Fund.

Find out more about these projects and our role within them.

Great glentress one

MTB & Access Rights

We represent riders at the National Access Forum (NAF), to Government agencies and other organisations that have a vested interest in the access laws and rights in Scotland.

We promote riders’ rights in access disputes, where necessary, and work closely with other outdoor organisations taking part in national campaigns. Spreading messages of good practice, such as the #thinkwinter campaign, and provide advice and guidance to the mountain bike community to help keep them safe while enjoying their riding, responsibly, with campaigns like Do The Ride Thing.

For more info on our role within access.

Thinkwinter stay warm web credit Ross Bell

Unauthorised MTB Trails Guidance

Many mountain bikers are looking for new opportunities. As a result of this, there is a recognised increase in the number of mountain bike trails constructed without permission from the land manager.

This resulted in a number of problems, including the creation of potentially dangerous hazards and environmental damage. As a result, we worked with National Access Forum to create Unauthorised Mountain Bike Trails - A Guide for Land Managers and Riders. This guidance helps mountain bikers and land managers understand different perspectives on this issue, in the context of the Scottish access rights, and to suggest ways in which they can work together and try where possible to find solutions.

The guidance provides the framework for the work of Trails Associations, and local groups, across Scotland. Read more.

Unauthorised trails MTB guidance Credit Trev Worsey

DIRTT Project

DIRTT Project (Developing Inter-Regional Trailbuilding Training) Project

Mountain biking is growing across Europe and a good proportion of this growth can be attributed to an increasing number of trails that have been built to meet the needs of mountain bikers.

To help ensure this anticipated growth is sustainable, delivers a wide variety of quality user experiences, ensures public resources are effectively deployed, and help mitigate against any environmental impact from the location and construction of the trails there is a demand for guidelines and a suite of training course on trail construction based on a quality assured body of knowledge.

We are a key partner in an EU Erasmus+ programme which is developing the content, resources, recruiting and training tutors and developing a pilot course aimed at volunteers, largely involved with trails associations.

The first Scottish tutors have now been recruited (November 21) and their training will begin early 2022. Pilot courses will be launched in Spring 2022. Learn more.

Support the Scottish Trail Fund

Make a Donation

Cycling Facilities Fund

The Cycling Facilities Fund (CFF) is an £8 million fund that aims to deliver accessible community and club facilities across Scotland and capitalise on the upsurge of interest in cycling by developing a network of accessible, inclusive and inspiring facilities that encourage people of all ages to ride bikes.

The funding is comprised of £4 million from Scottish Government and £4 million from sportscotland National Lottery funding. The fund will deliver a tangible benefit from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships – Glasgow & Scotland by celebrating the unique power of the bike and all it can bring to our everyday lives.

The fund, which was open to clubs, education establishments, local authorities or leisure trusts, charitable organisations, community sport hubs and community organisations, has been made possible through a £4 million commitment of Capital funding from Scottish Government and £4 million of National Lottery funding from sportscotland. This significant investment in infrastructure will be delivered over the next three/four years through a partnership between Scottish Cycling, and ourselves at DMBinS, and sportscotland.

We have worked with our colleagues in Scottish Cycling to develop the guidance for the fund with sportscotland. We are continuing to support mountain bike projects, including pump tracks, to develop their plans for trails and facilities to go forward for this fund.

Find out more.

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Support the Scottish Trail Fund

Make a Donation