by Dave Anderson
July 23, 2013
What happens in the woods stays in the woods, according to Welsh Government…
Natural Resources Wales has produced a video urging mountain bikers to help stop the spread of tree diseases by cleaning off any debris before they leave.
The short video, called “Leave the Forest in the Forest”, calls on bikers to brush off twigs, leaves and any other forest debris from their bikes, clothes and cars when they visit any woodland managed by Natural Resources Wales.
Woodlands remain open but visitors are being asked to observe some simple biosecurity measures to help stop the spread of diseases such as P ramorum, which attacks larch trees, and Chalara dieback of ash.
There are around 500 kilometres of mountain bike trails in woodlands managed by Natural Resources Wales, which are ridden about 250,000 times every year.
The video was made by film maker Liam Murphy and shows rider Matthew Ford tackling The Wall, a popular trail in Afan Forest Park near Port Talbot, which itself is ridden about 18,000 times a year.
The video shows Matthew using the bike wash outside the visitor centre to clean his Commencal Meta bike and reduce the risk of taking any infected material away with him.
Dave Liddy of Natural Resources Wales said, “Cleaning your bike is good for the bike, but it’s also good for the forest, too.
“Our mountain bike trails are immensely popular and we want to encourage people to keep coming to our woodlands. Our message is a simple one: ‘Enjoy yourselves, but please leave the forest in the forest’.”
A second video has been produced aimed at the general public and shows a dog walker, horse riders and people walking in the woods.