Wild Trails webinar – the Mountain Biker’s perspective

Getting in the room to talk with landowners is a key step in improving access, so when the Institute of Chartered Foresters invited Peak District MTB to talk at their Wild Bike Trails webinar in July, we jumped at the chance.

The Institute of Chartered Foresters is the Royal Chartered body for foresters and arboriculturists in the UK. They work to foster a greater public awareness and understanding of forestry in order to serve a variety of commercial, recreational, environmental and scientific interests.

As the popularity of mountain biking has grown, many more people are heading out into the woods – and a small number of them are straying from the paths and tracks that the landowners have on their land.

On July 6, Dan Noble and Chris Maloney from Peak District MTB will join the conference to talk about ‘Wild Trails’, known better to us all as ‘cheeky’ or ‘off-piste’. As more of these tracks have appeared – especially during lockdown – landowners and managers are getting increasingly concerned about the impact they may have, their own responsibilities, and the future of the relationship between riders and landowners.

While there is undoubtedly friction at times, we’re keen to show that good can – and does – come from collaboration.

“We’re really happy to be invited to speak at the conference,” says Dan Noble, Peak District MTB chair. “To get in the room, to hear the concerns of landowners and – more importantly – to be able to respond with a measured and balanced view is immensely valuable. History has shown that when we’re able to have an open conversation with people the outcome is often good.”

Chris Maloney, committee member agrees, “When we’ve been able to actually sit down, face-to-face with landowners or land managers elsewhere it has always, always been a positive experience for both groups. At the conference we’re looking forward to hearing from the Chartered Foresters, listening to their ideas or concerns and seeing if we can help to constructively challenge any misconceptions about the MTB community and move the relationship forward. Let’s see how it goes!”

The Institute of Chartered Foresters said of the event:

“Our Wild Bike Trails webinar on 6 July will explore unauthorised mountain bike trails and how land managers and foresters can work together with cyclists to protect biodiversity and keep everyone safe. We’re delighted that Dan and Chris from Peak District MTB are joining us to share their views as members of the mountain biking community.”

Peak District MTB’s Working Together brochure summarises how we approach discussions with landowners and has already been a great discussion point when we’ve been in the room. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Please join us

With panellists representing views from across the spectrum and across the country, we expect a really interesting discussion and some challenging debate. We’d love other mountain bikers to attend. 

If you’ve not done so already, sign up to Peak District MTB, and we’ll soon send details of how you could get a ticket.


12 June 2021