The Voice of Mountain Biking in Northern Ireland

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Good Times Ahead for Northern Ireland Trails

11 Jan 2012 9:00 AM | Rick McKee (Administrator)
A very positive meeting on 11 January at Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate, is another step promising a bright future for mountain biking in Northern Ireland.

The Minister for Agriculture & Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill, hosted the meeting, with senior Forest Service executives and mountain biking representatives there to discuss plans for the development of trails in the Northern Ireland forest estate.

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O'Neill, flanked by Rick McKee and David Creighton of NIMBA 
Flagship projects in the Mourne Mountains in County Down and at Davagh Forest near Cookstown in County Tyrone are already underway, but there is an acknowledged need to continue to explore opportunities for more facilities across the country that meet the demand for more progressive riding, for our already popular and still rapidly growing sport.

A number of models for trail provision are being discussed with Forest Service, based on those that have already been hugely successful in other parts of the world; a sound process, the right stakeholders, local engagement and community support will be vital elements in the growth of trails, so we will be working hard along with various partners to get all the pieces of the jigsaw in place, to allow projects to proceed.

We are genuinely excited about the future of trails in Northern Ireland’s forests, and we look forward to helping the local mountain biking community reach its goals. Knowing how other successful projects work across the world, we are also hugely encouraged to see a more cohesive and organised approach being adopted by the Northern Ireland mountain biking community in general, particularly in the last 12 months.

Strength of voice at a local level and good organisation are key elements, and if you think we might be able to assist in any way, please do get in touch; we’re here to help.

Further meetings with Forest Service are already in the diary, with the Minister remaining very interested in progress.  Keep an eye on the site for updates.

Rick McKee            
Phone: 07740 180836
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