It’s been a little while since we last updated you, so we just wanted to let you know about all the things that have been going on at North Cardiff Trails.
Before we get really stuck in, we wanted clearly set out what it is that we’re trying to do. And the best way to do that is through a mission statement:
Our mission is to promote and maintain a sustainable mountain bike trail network in North Cardiff for everyone to enjoy.
What have we been up to this summer?
As well as riding bikes this summer, we’ve also been talking to the local landowners to get them on board with our mission and open a wider conversation in the future.
These discussions have gone well so far, and we’re now looking at ways that we can clearly signpost our trails, hold official maintenance days, and highlight which areas are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). You might have already seen the OWL notices popping up all over the place?
In Forest Ganol (which is a SAC), it’s been flagged that the growing number and footprint of our trails is a concern. To help keep everyone happy, we’ve started to clearly mark the main trails by closing off some of the ‘desire lines’ with logs etc. Shutting off these lines is an easy win for us as it reduces the damage to the ecology and keeps our riding honest.
As well as all our local work, Manon also attended the Trash Free Trails conference in July to represent North Cardiff Trails. We were able to meet up with and chat with other riders and trail associations across England and Wales about getting recognition and building a framework to move forward.
The general view is that, in the long-run, we need a Wales-wide organisation with a singular approach and this should be made from local and regional groups of people. We think that having more numbers and a consistent approach is one of the best ways to get the best deal for local MTB groups and we’ve added our name to an open letter to Welsh Cycling asking for support for trail associations. The initial response has been very positive and we’ll know more in the coming months.