Grass roots north east bikers celebrate a high five


FORESTRY COMMISSION - Press Notice - 14193

From small beginnings big things can happen!

That’s the message as mountain bike fans prepare to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Kielder Trail Reavers – the grassroots group of local mountain bike fans who helped kick start the off road revolution in 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) Kielder Water & Forest Park.

Working with the Forestry Commission and Kielder Partnership, they have transformed the once sleeping giant into a top destination for bikers fans from across the UK.

And now they are setting their sights even higher and want to recruit new members at an open day at Kielder Castle on 20 November for their latest trail building venture.

Prime movers amongst the Trail Reavers include current chairman Chris Tait, from Elsdon – and he knows a thing or two about trailbuilding! Until recently the 37 year old worked with an engineering consultancy and was employed on road building projects, including the widening of the M1 in the East Midlands. He explained:

“It’s long way from a single track trail in the breathtaking wilderness of Kielder to one of the busiest stretches of motorway in Britain, but the experience has helped. Since we opened the first mountain bike training loop near Kielder Castle in 2005 things have moved on massively thanks to funding from the Kielder Partnership. Our aim is to add hand made features and refine the existing trails.”

The Reavers now want to build a new 1.5 km trail at Capon Hassock on the popular Lonesome Pine route, replacing a fire road with a purpose built section of trail. To achieve this mini-feat of construction more volunteers are needed and so the group is holding its open day to encourage others to join the project and visit the site of the proposed trail.

Chris Tait adds: “The Lonesome Pine Trail will benefit from developments like Capon Hassock to improve the amount of single track. But it’s a big project and more volunteers are needed if we are to complete work within 18 months, which is our aim.”

Alex MacLennan, Recreation, Tourism & Communities Manager with the Forestry Commission, said: “What has been achieved is testament to the hard work of volunteers, Forestry Commission staff, contractors and wider partners. We are building mountain bike trails in some of the most difficult ground conditions in the UK and at one point a seven tonne excavator was nearly lost in deep peat! But we are seeing success in terms of more cycling visitors and high profile events being attracted to Kielder Water & Forest Park. That means a boost to local businesses all year round.”

The trail building open day meets at 10am at Kielder Castle and there will be free refreshments. Come along in outdoor clothing, with stout footwear and gloves, if you want to get trail building straight away! Visit 

Media calls to Richard Darn on 01226 246351. Mobile 0775 367 0038.

Notes to Editor

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit

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