Kielder’s New Playground

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A new MTB play area is to be unveiled by Kielder Partnership in the 62,000 hectare (155,000 acre) Borders wilderness giving expert bikers the chance to perform heart-stopping leaps and turns. Located at Kielder Castle Visitor Centre, it opens on Sunday (6 September 2009).

With technical features like a rock garden, ‘orange’ rated’ jumps and a two metre high elevated timber trail – it’s not for beginners.

The move is part of a £900,000 investment in off-road facilities in Kielder Water & Forest Park, which earlier this year saw a new bike hire centre open.

Alex MacLennan, recreation and tourism manager with the Forestry Commission, commented: “This kind of riding has a strong following in the region, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. Our ambition is to create one of Britain’s best off road bike centres in Kielder Water & Forest Park, offering something for all ability levels, including those with a taste for the more extreme end of the sport.”

Forest chiefs have also revealed that a 33 kilometre red grade trail – providing riders with singletrack access to the border to link with existing routes – will also fully open to cyclists on Saturday, September 5, 2009.

The final 12 kilometre section, linking Kielder Water & Forest Park with Scotland and the 7 Stanes bike centre at Newcastleton, Scotland, has been completed, offering an awesome adventure ride through some of the UK’s wildest terrain. Amongst the first to use the dramatic trail will be bikers taking part in the first ever Montane Kielder 100 mile endurance race (5 September), making it a massive cycling weekend in Kielder.

Elisabeth Rowark, Kielder Partnership director, said: “A new blue trail will also open soon – the longest of its kind in England – designed for casual and family riders. It will give Kielder Water & Forest Park a full suite of trails, giving bikers of all abilities a great chance to explore this tremendous and historic landscape.”

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