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Trail building courses (DIRTT)

We are creating a range of courses, starting with a Volunteer Trail Dig Leader Course, to support the sustainable development of trails across Scotland.

Trails associations scotland header Credit Trev Worsey

About DIRTT (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 purpose-built to meet the needs of mountain bikers. To help ensure this anticipated growth is sustainable, delivers 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 courses on trail construction based on a quality assured body of knowledge.

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

Volunteer Trail Dig Leader Course

We have recruited and trained tutors and they have delivered a number of pilot DIRTT Volunteer Trail Dig Leader courses across Scotland.

Please contact us to request an event in your area.

Why do we need the course?

  • There are a growing number of mountain bike Trails Associations which are working as local groups to encourage mountain bikers to be stewards of their local trail networks.
  • Trails Associations have an important role to liaise with landowners/managers and mountain bikers. As such, it is important that they have an understanding of the wider needs of land management as well as the changing needs of mountain bikers.
  • Trails, and trail networks, would benefit from competent and skillful volunteers helping to plan, build and maintain them.
  • Trails Associations, and other local groups, are looking to grow and increase their impact by bringing in more people to help build and maintain trails. TA’s leaders need to be competent and confident to lead sessions which are safe, fun and improve the trails.

What tasks will those who complete the course be able to undertake more competently?

  • Liaise with a landowner and secure permission to maintain an existing or build a new trail using hand tools
  • Inspect an existing trail and develop a series of maintenance tasks to upgrade the trail
  • Organise a work party (size can vary between location) to maintain a new trail using hand tools
  • Remove unnecessary dangerous elements on a trail – brashing branches, fall zones, sight lines (especially on trail exits and crossing points)
  • Build or improve the maintenance of a trail using techniques such as bench cuts and grade reversals
  • Build or improve the drainage of a trail to improve the sustainability of the trail
  • Where appropriate, be able to build commonly used technical trail features, such as berms, table tops, rock gardens, rock armour, stone pitching holes, and eroded areas

What are the logisitics?

Time: 3 hours online training pre & post course. 2 full days of in-person days with a mixture of theory and practical sessions.

Cost: £195 per person.

Custom course: 8 people = £1350 or 12 people = £2000

Support volunteers to access these courses - donate to Scottish Trail Fund
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