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The building of a new windfarm in Ae Forest, near Dumfries, is to give an added boost for mountain bikers with around 4km of new trail being built.
The new trail section, on the famous 7stanes Ae Line route, will be all singletrack and includes a new climb and a descent.
Scottish Power is working closely with Forestry Commission Scotland to keep the existing trail open during construction and re-route riders onto this new section.
Hugh McKay, Recreation and Tourism Manager with Forestry Commission Scotland said:
“Generating clean and renewable energy from Scotland’s national forest estate is a key priority for Forestry Commission Scotland.
“Ae forest is very much a working forest but we combine it very well with some fantastic recreation.
“The famous 7stanes trails are one of the forest’s attractions and I’m sure mountain bikers will be pleased to hear that we are working hard to keep it open and that the Ae Line trail will have new singletrack to ride.”
The new section is to be built to replace two existing parts of the trail which will be affected by two turbines. The new trail will keep riders safe whilst construction continues.
Simon Christian, Managing Director at ScottishPower Renewables, said:
"The area around Harestanes windfarm is well known for its mountain biking trails, so we have been working closely with Forestry Commission Scotland and cycling groups to deliver the new specially designed tracks that we hope will encourage even more mountain biking enthusiasts to the area.
"We are delighted that the windfarm is creating tracks that can be used by the public, and we hope that residents and visitors will interact with the development."
The new descent is due to be ready for riding towards the end of January next year and the climb is expected to be completed early in April.
The trails at Ae are part of a network of seven famous mountain bike centres across the south of Scotland known as the 7stanes. For more information log on to www.7stanesmountainbiking.com.
Notes to news editors
1. The 7stanes project is being managed by Forestry Commission Scotland with partners Scottish Enterprise, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Borders Council, Solway Heritage and VisitScotland. For more information on the project and where to ride, log on to www.7stanesmountainbiking.com.
2. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
3. For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests For Twitter www.twitter.com/dmlaberfoyle
4. Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
5. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.