Forestry Commission logo
NEWS RELEASE No: 1372221 JUNE 2010

Bikers seeing red in Hamsterley Forest!

This news story is now over a year old and information may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. It might also contain obsolete links.
Please use our search link on the left to look for more recent information.
Cyclists on 'The Loop', Hamsterley Forest

Another exhilarating section of world class mountain bike route is set to open in Hamsterley Forest - just in time for a really dirty weekend!

The Forestry Commission, Hamsterley Trailblazers, Groundwork and CDENT have teamed up to create a one kilometre single track section, complete with pulse quickening descents, turns and technical features.

The trail, which is part of the a 22km red route for intermediate level bikers, has been backed by a £50,000 CDENT PREMIER Award from County Durham Environmental Trust (CDENT) and has been designed to expand Hamsterley's network of purpose built single trails.

Bikers are now being urged to be amongst the first to try out the trail by joining the Durham Dirty Big Ride 2010 on Sunday 27 June.

This inaugural event in the 5,000 acre beauty spot, near Bishop Auckland, will  provide riders of all abilities a great day in the saddle exploring County Durham's largest wood.

Alex MacLennan, Recreation, Tourism and Communities Manager with the Forestry Commission, explained:

"The new section of trail is a purpose built mountain bike route and means that bikers no longer have to use the forest road at this point.  It sweeps through young trees and into mature Scots pine, offering a fantastic elevated vantage point over the woodland. We are committed to working with our partners to continually developing top off road routes in Hamsterley.”   

Locally sourced stone has been used to surface the route making it rideable throughout the year. 

John Taylor the CDENT Company Secretary said:

"This is an exciting project which is opening up biking and exercise to a broader cross section of people.  Hamsterley Forest and the wider community will benefit from the project which can only have a positive impact on the area".

Riders wanting to give the trail a test drive can sign up for the Dirty Bike Ride at   It includes a 10km family bike ride and a tougher 20km route for more serious off roaders.

Notes to Editor

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit

Media calls
Richard Darn on 01226 246351.  Mobile 0775 367 0038.