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leaning bike on a forest path
leaning bike on a forest path

Local Cycle Zone progress in Contin and Strathpeffer

Highland Trail Riders was supported by the EDF Renewables Corriemoillie Wind Farm Community Fund to create an exciting new Cycle Zone in the local area.

Highland Trail Riders (HTR) was awarded £2,000 by the EDF Renewables Corriemoillie Wind Farm Community Fund (Strathpeffer) which is a sub-fund of the EDF Renewables Corriemoillie Wind Farm Community Fund. The fund provides grants to community groups to support charitable activities that support positive change and strategic impact.

Highland Trail Riders (HTR) is a constituted sports club which builds and maintains bike trails, mainly in the forestry around Contin and Strathpeffer. HTR is working with Strathpeffer Community Park to develop cycle tracks and create an exciting Cycle Zone as part of the ambitious community park plans.

The Cycle Zone is being developed in phases. HTR volunteers initially developed a short cycle track with one jump as an introduction to trail riding for the youngest riders (balance bikes upwards). The next phase was then to add more interest and features by creating three "table top" jumps. 

Some issues arose around the construction due to bad weather which highlighted the need for more drainage on the site, as well as necessitating repair work to the initial cycle track. This was useful in highlighting the drainage requirements for the next phase of building the pump track. 

HTR also gained further experience around project planning and the need for flexibility and changes once construction is underway, based on actual site conditions.

This also had an impact on the budget and the volunteers are definitely gaining experience in fundraising and building relationships with funders where that is possible. They are also more aware of the importance of planning for the use of machinery in the design stage in order to maximise the use of expensive plant when available and minimise hire charges.

The project is a good example of successful partnership working. HTR bring technical expertise and a different group of volunteers to support the Residents Association who are managing the park project overall. There is also potential that they can access different funding streams.

Volunteer project lead, Graham MacDonald said: 

“The award from the Strathpeffer community fund was integral to prove to other funders that match funding was in place and really helped us lever in additional funds from elsewhere. We couldn’t be prouder of the track we have built so far and can’t wait to get it officially opened and in use in the spring!”

HTR is currently fundraising for the next phase which is to build a full pump track on the site, which will be a terrific asset for the local area and hopefully inspire lots of kids and families to get out on their bikes.