Mountain biking enthusiasts on the trail of funds to pay for beginning of expansion
A NORTH-EAST group is pedalling towards the expansion of its bespoke mountain bike trail.
Tarland Trails, which is located in Drummy Woods near the Deeside village, already has a bike trail, which was given the go-ahead in 2015, but now the group is looking to expand its tracks and create a larger mountain biking trail facility.
Chris Redmond, project co-ordinator for Tarland Trails, said: “When we first set about building the trails, it was always our idea to build something bigger and this new project is already a couple of years in the making. It worked phenomenally well and we currently have 4,500 visitors per year to the trail.
“A lot of the feedback we’ve had has said it would be great to have something bigger that they could spend the whole day at rather than just a few hours.”
The group believes, with the new trail, Tarland could see even more economic benefits.
Chris, 33, said: “We estimate that there would be 13,000 people per year to the new trail, which would mean a total of 18,000 visitors per year.”
He added: “We’ve had a lot of public consultations and have made changes that people had raised concerns about. There’s now going to be a car park closer to the village, which is something residents were worried about.”
The project has now been approved by trustees, but the group needs to raise £10,000 in order to make their planning application to Aberdeenshire Council.
Chris, who is a primary school teacher, said: “The fee to the council is £2,600 and then we have to arrange the environmental walkover survey and the architect fees. Last time we did a lot of the planning ourselves, but this time is a bit more complicated. It takes a long time, but it gives a good foundation.”
In order to raise the money needed for the trail, the group has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £2,600 of their £10,000 target.
Chris said: “We’ve already reached 69% of our target and had donations from 48 people, so it’s looking really good.
“The North-east doesn’t really have a facility like this, so there’s a lot of motivation from people to get this off the ground.”
To donate money to Tarland Trails, visit bit.ly/2i0mrlo
Biking: The site has one trail at the moment.