We were delighted to attend the launch of a new bridge in Leanachan Forest, Fort William which re-opens a classic trail for riders again.
The new bridge was developed through a new partnership model developed by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) working with No Fuss Events, West Highland Wheelers and Nevis Range.
We are looking forward to being involved in the roll-out of across Scotland working with FCS, other landowners and trail communities to improve the trail networks in a managed way.
Yesterday (Thursday 02 February 2017), at Nevis Range, Fort William, the heart of the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) launched their new management policy and guidance on the management of Enduro events and trails in Scotland, together with No Fuss Events.
No Fuss Events, the team behind the hugely popular POC Scottish Mountain Bike Enduro Series, unveiled a new bridge in Leanachan Forest, part of a pilot project leading to the launch of the new Enduro event guidance. The new bridge, that gives riders and mountain bike event organisers renewed access to the popular trail, locally known as The Blue Crane, was built with support from FCS and funding from No Fuss Events, Nevis Range and West Highland Wheelers; together with the expert input and generosity of Thistle Access who have assisted in the fabrication, transportation and installation of the structure. The bridge planning and construction showcases the importance and effectiveness of successful partnerships in event organisation and land management.
This new management policy and guidance on the management of Enduro events and trails in Scotland demonstrates that the lights are now green and the development, sustainable future, and the continuation of Enduro racing in Scotland have been addressed. Scotland can offer world-class riding experiences at Enduro events and Scotland will maintain its rightful position as a world-class mountain bike destination.
John Ireland, Health and Safety Advisor for Forestry Commission Scotland, said: “Mountain biking is really important to Forestry Commission Scotland and we welcome all responsible mountain bikers onto the national forest estate. We are a funding partner in Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland and have a national agreement with Scottish Cycling that sees us host a range of cycling events on the national forest estate. Enduro events are fun and accessible to riders of all abilities and this new guidance will help move the activity forward. We’re looking forward to the coming events in 2017 and working with event organisers.”
The team from No Fuss Events have been working closely with John Ireland, Health and Safety Advisor for FCS, in recent months on a pilot project in Leanachan Forest as the Enduro event guidance has evolved.
Frazer Coupland, Partner at No Fuss Events, said: “The policy is important to us and other event organisers across Scotland. It will ultimately give guidance on which wild trails we can host events on and more importantly give us a framework where we can carry out remedial works to ensure trails are maintained and kept safe for riders. If Scotland is to remain as a world class mountain biking destination we have to be able to give world class riding experiences to all riders using the trails and taking part in Enduro events.”
To celebrate the success of the project and the partnerships involved the collective decision has been to name the bridge ‘Emmy’s Bridge’. Emmy was a dearly loved and cherished friend of all the parties involved in this project. Emmy had an involvement in the outdoors and mountain biking in Lochaber in many ways and in many roles. Her passing in 2016 was a shock and a mortality check for all. All parties and her family are delighted that Emmy’s legacy of enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and the importance of outdoor recreation in our lives will be remembered in the form of filling the gap and making the Blue Crane run again.
Image credit: John Sutherland