Mountain bike trail names to be changed
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is renaming some sections of its mountain bike trails in a move to promote the sport as an activity for all.
Highlighting that everyone is welcome to enjoy riding their mountain bike trails, the FLS move is in line with developments in the sport, and chimes with customer and stakeholder views that some trail section names do not reflect the ethos of inclusion.
Sallie Bailey, Forestry and Land Scotland Regional Manager said:
“Mountain biking is fantastic sport and we want everyone who rides on our trails to feel very welcome.
“Trailbuilders do a brilliant job and often give names to sections of trail that they work on. We will continue with this tradition where it adds a local flavour or character to the trails and promotes the sport as inclusive for all.
“FLS is a new agency and we feel that it is important to show that we are responsive and listen to our riders and take diversity and equality seriously.”
The move was welcomed by Lucy Husband, who owns and manages Swift Trails, the first women-specific MtB guiding and tuition company in the Tweed Valley.
“Some women can feel intimidated by the stereotypical picture of mountain biking – which can be characterised by a culture where speed and technical challenge is everything.
“That’s fine for some - but mountain biking as a recreational pastime has a lot more to offer women and girls. It’s a great way to get out into the countryside and enjoy nature with friends and family, and it’s a brilliant way of keeping physically fit and staying mentally healthy.”
Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) - a project within Scottish Cycling - is a partnership initiative that oversees the delivery of the national strategy for mountain biking in Scotland.
Project manager, Graeme McLean, agreed that taking steps to promote inclusivity was a positive move.
“Mountain bike culture has come a long way and continues to evolve – and addressing the gender imbalance is a top priority in Scotland’s mountain biking strategy.
“Whilst we have made great progress on the number of women riding, entering events, joining Scottish Cycling and performing at elite level, we believe there are more opportunities to grow the sport through creating more coaches, leaders and role models at all levels, along with diversifying the imagery of the sport.
“All of these elements combined together will continue the cultural evolution.”
Notes to editors
- DMBinS aims to provide a strategic approach to facility development, co-ordinate activity, ensure best practice is spread and maximise the potential of mountain biking in Scotland. DMBinS.com
- Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) was established as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 April 2019, following completion of the devolution of forestry as a result of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018. It replaces Forest Enterprise Scotland.