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Mountain biking Kielder

One of the UK’s most exciting mountain biking destinations is to play host to the UK’s leading mountain biking conference in October.

The Forestry Commission’s Kielder Water & Forest Park will play host to the influential UK Mountain Bike Conference between 15 - 17 October 2015.

Over three days speakers and delegates will explore the role of cycling in health, the environment and the rural economy. The list of speakers includes many influential figures in the field and will afford trail managers and cyclists the opportunity to network and explore opportunities to expand the rural economy.

Speakers include Tom Hutton (award-winning MTB Writer, Photographer and Guide), David Hall (Chairman of Northumberland Tourism), Councillor Val Tyler (Northumberland County Council), Dave Buchan (Bike 4 Health), Mark Torsius (International Mountain Bike Association Europe) and Alex MacLennan (Forestry Commission).

The conference will also mark the official launch of OpenMTB – the groundbreaking online service that offers mountain bikers the opportunity to download crowd sourced maps of bike trails all over the world based on data from fellow riders.

It is the first time that UK Mountain Bike Conference has run at Kielder since 2006. Since that first UK conference local mountain bikers have worked closely with The Forestry Commission to develop the largest network of off-road cycling in England within the forest, currently covering 62,000 hectares.

Tom Hutton, conference speaker, writer and mountain biking expert says,

“I’m really looking forward to the conference at Kielder. It’s a breath of fresh air to see mountain biking coming out into the open and discussing the opportunities the sport presents and the problems it faces.

“I’m really excited, as well as a little nervous, about speaking to such a distinguished group, but am sure 15 years of pounding most of the UK’s trails will give me something to talk about. After all, a lot has changed in that time. I’m really excited to see OpenMTB getting a chance to publicly launch itself - it’s certainly an exciting time for mountain biking.

Alex MacLennan, Recreation & Public Affairs Manager
(North East), 
Forestry Commission says,

“We are very excited to be hosting the UK Mountain Bike Conference at Kielder  again for a number of reasons. Mountain biking is now a key contributor to the local rural economy and we have invested heavily, with the help of the local community, and volunteers across the North East, to make our biking offer one of the best regions now in the UK.

“We also see this conference as our opportunity to contribute to the future evolution of mountain biking and its contribution to both rural economies and the health and wellbeing of our visitors. We hope people enjoy themselves on our trails as much as at the conference itself.”

The conference also includes opportunities for delegates to ride bikes over the weekend including a cross border bike ride from Scotland to Kielder Castle.

Helpful links:

Conference Page on Northumberland Tourism site

Bookings page

For more information, to register attendance, interview opportunities and hi-res images contact or call 07966 378 968

Notes to Editors
The Forestry Commission in England works to secure and grow the economic, social and natural capital value of the Public Forest Estate for the people of England. The North England Forest District looks after forests in, Northumbria, Tyne and Wear County Durham, Cumbria and, Lancashire.