Kielder’s New Playground

by Ben Haworth 7

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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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Comments (7)

  1. The new hire place seems strange. While I’m sure they’re nice guys just trying to make a living etc. there has always been a very good hire place in the form of http://www.thebikeplace.co.uk they’ve put a lot into Kielder and organise events up there. Why didn’t they get the prime spot. A similar thing seems to be happening at Glentress with the hub being forced out and a new visitors centre beeing openend by the forestry commision.

  2. Chap in the pics looks unwell. Has he been living under the woodwork?

  3. the fella at thebikeplace was told by the forestry commision he needed better bikes to hire out as he only had crappy trek hybrid type things if he wanted the contract to hire out the new place at kielder which the forestry comission (the building the new bike shop is in) and to be honest the new one is much better!

  4. willy, nonsense mate, he runs trek and Kona mtbs. if you don’t know the facts keep quiet!

  5. Kona mtbs he needed better bikes. Yep, he sure does.

  6. When the new hire centre was being built, tenders were put out to run it. Purple mountain won the tender, although I won`t go into the politics here…..
    Typical rest mission style really

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