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Mountain bikers and forestry rangers are working together to create a revamped ‘skills area’ in Delamere Forest.
An existing skills area within the forest was somewhat dilapidated following a decade of use and so rangers from the Forestry Commission, which manages the forest on behalf of the public, got together with a group of local riders – the Delamere Riders’ Club - to help improve the site to make it safer for more people to use.
Since February last year, the riders’ club members have held regular meetings where they have carried out maintenance work and litter picks. There have also been frequent meetings with the Forestry Commission rangers.
Richard Mostyn, Forestry Commission recreational ranger at Delamere, said:
“It’s great to see the club getting involved in repairing the trail and taking some ownership of the skills area.
“By working with the riders it means we can give them what they want and meet the Forestry Commission’s needs for a safer site as well.
“The skills area is designed so that it can be ridden by the early learners as well as providing good practice for the more extreme riders.”
The skills area now has a newly improved four cross track – which allows four riders to race against each other downhill at the same time – as well as lots of jumps and steep sided corners known as berms that help hone trail techniques.
Mr Mostyn added:
“The skills area is a great facility, however it will require regular maintenance. We are really embracing the Big Society idea at Delamere and we want to encourage riders to join the club and take part in planned maintenance days with both ourselves and the riders’ club.
“The Forestry Commission is extremely grateful to the Delamere Riders’ Club for giving their time to assist in the maintenance of the skills area. We would like to thank all those who have helped create this wonderful facility for bikers in the heart of Cheshire.”
Chris Griffiths, 20, of Crosby in Liverpool, is a keen member of the Delamere Riders’ Club and travels to the Cheshire forest regularly on the train. He has been regularly helping to improve the skills area by working on drainage and by removing tree stumps.
“There are three of us coming in from Liverpool every day to work on this corner of the forest. We couldn’t have got hold of diggers without the help of the Forestry Commission. They have really helped to develop the site. It has been good.”
The latest maintenance day on the skills area took place on Monday, September 6, where Forestry Commission rangers and members of the Delamere Riders’ Club worked together to improve the site.
For more information about Delamere Forest and the Forestry Commission in the North West visit www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland
More information on the Delamere Riders’ Club is available at www.delamereriders.co.uk
Notes to editors
The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain with responsibility for over one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. The North West England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests today are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber. www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland
Richard Mostyn, Delamere Forest recreation ranger, on 07841513913.