This isn’t our usual bread and butter at Bikerumor, but we can’t help but share this fantastic news: SRAM is investing in the UK Trails network, funding an initial 3-year project manager position to support the mountain bike community and improve sustainability of the network of paths.
SRAM is working with UK Cycling on this project. The successful candidate for the position will play a central role in bringing together trail building teams from across the UK, as well as landowners, land managers and governing bodies, with knowledge sharing and relationship development at the core of their activities. Certainly, this is a big step forward in ensuring that the UK Trail network is able to support the growth of mountain biking in the future.
It’s great to see financial investment from the industry, and something I hope we see more of in the future.
Press Release from Mountain Biking Development Scotland
SRAM works with UK cycling and land management organizations to help create a sustainable future for mountain bike trails across the UK
A new project, supported by an initial 3-year project manager position, has been created to support the mountain bike community, governing bodies and land managers/owners to share knowledge, discuss issues and opportunities for greater collaboration and improve the sustainability of the mountain bike trail network across the UK.
Scottish Cycling, through Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS), will manage the position and project and will be supported by a steering group including British Cycling, Cycling Ireland, Welsh Cycling, Forestry and Land Scotland, Forestry England and Natural Resources Wales, Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland along with project funders, SRAM.
Graeme McLean, Head of DMBinS, said:
“This new project is incredibly valuable at a time when the number of mountain bikers is increasing. With around 6% of the UK population mountain biking on a regular basis, it is vital that we support the mountain biking community to work with government agencies to work with land managers and landowners to sustainably develop an exciting and diverse trail network in all levels.
Key to this work and role will be the ability to share knowledge, bring people together to understand common issues and opportunities and further develop relationships at all levels across all UK home countries.
We are extremely grateful for the enthusiasm and passion of the steering group, along with the funders and project partners, SRAM. We are really excited to see the impact this project will have.”
The first step of the project will be the development of a UK-wide ‘Right Path, Right Place, Right People, Right Time’ report, which will help monitor the current number and location of trail groups and associations in each country and in a deeper understanding of opportunities to improve management of the trail network. The report will also consider pressures to support the trail network, particularly for land managers/owners.
It is expected that following this report, the project’s focus, objectives, target audience, KPIs and messages will vary according to each country’s needs and current situation.
However, it is anticipated that there will be areas of commonality across nations with goals to help develop resources through increased engagement with the MTB industry, the public sector, government agencies and land managers. It will also help build the capacity of the MTB community to improve the sustainable management of mountain biking activities.
Dan Cook, Director of Infrastructure for National Forestry England said:
“The UK Trails Project is an amazing opportunity to connect riders, trail associations and land managers. It will help improve understanding and see more people using the right paths, right place, right people, right time principles.
“The UK undoubtedly has some of the best equestrian facilities and facilities in the world, with passionate people and limited resources, and this project can help everyone involved manage them better in a sustainable way in the long term.
“We ultimately need a resilient off-road cycling network that is built and used taking into account many factors such as other users, ecology, wildlife and heritage, access and land management requirements.”
Alex Rafferty, MTB Communications Director – SRAM UK, said:
“We have been impressed with the work of DMBinS for several years and are delighted to play our part in improving the long-term sustainability of footpaths and footpath access across the UK.
We believe this project can work sensitively and strategically with mountain bikers and a range of partners to support the path network across the UK, ultimately leading to a secure future for our path network – the most valuable resource in mountain biking. We are excited to play our part in bringing this project to fruition.”
How to apply
DMBinS is still accepting applications for the position of UK Trails Project Manager, with the deadline set for 12 noon (BST) on Monday 21 August 2023. Click here to apply.
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