burlish bike park

Making Burlish Bike Park Official

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With the help of crowdfunding, a local charity, and a large donation from Sport England, Burlish dirt jumps is on its way to official status.

Burlish dirt jumps, situated in Stourport upon Severn, has been a much-loved dirt jump spot for over thirty years. Now, thanks to Hannah Escott of charity Open Trail, local supporters and a very generous landowner, the area is hopefully being developed into an official bike park for the community.

Burlish bike park jumps
Burlish. A local jump spot for over thirty years.

With a limited time to reach their funding target on Crowdfunder, Open Trail are hopeful that the target will be met. Burlish dirt jumps were due to be demolished but Open Trail have worked tirelessly to form a plan, apply for funding and give the jump spot an entirely new future.

The landowner didn’t realise he owned the land but when he discovered it he was astounded at the size of the jumps and the scale of what had been built. Most landowners we hear of want to go straight in with the bulldozers, but the owner of Burlish recognises how much the community love this little woodland and how much fun it brings the locals.

Hannah Escott

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Thanks to a great deal of local support from kind donators the Burlish Bike Park Crowdfunder caught the attention of Sport England Activate Your Space fund which has added £10,000 to the pot. However, if the crowdfunder does not reach it’s target they will lose the £10,000, “If we don’t get the final £4k we lose that £10k,” said Hannah.

To add to the £20k above and ensure the development can go ahead, Hannah and her team have
been awarded a grant of £110,000 from Sport England Places to Ride fund which was no easy task. Hannah explains, “This was the toughest funding application I have ever had to write. I asked for £110,000 to develop our little woodland, over four times larger than anything I’d ever applied for before and in the middle of a global pandemic! I have had 4-year-olds at pump tracks say ‘have you built my bike park yet?,’ the local teenage riders saying, ‘are you going to be able to save the jumps or are they getting bulldozed?’ and countless others ‘any news on Burlish?.’ The pressure on my little shoulders was huge! What if Sport England said no? What if the jumps get destroyed and the woodland becomes houses and it’s my fault?”

The aim with the park is to create:

  • Beginner, intermediate and expert jump lines.
  • A mountain bike skills area.
  • Fun zone for under 6s to learn to ride and develop a love for cycling.
  • Green/blue graded flow trail for families and disability adapted bikes.
  • Slalom race track.
  • A clubhouse/cafe with toilets.
  • An inclusive off-road cycling club.
  • A volunteer program for all; both cyclists and non-cyclists.
  • A supply of suitable bikes and safety equipment.
  • Specialist coaching for disabled groups/educational needs and disaffected youth.

To date, the project has received a lot of support from the community. Volunteer support will be vital in making the future of the bike park a reality.

When I released a community survey to find out what local people wanted, where the gaps are in local provision and generally what this woodland should become I was overwhelmed by public support. It was daunting opening my ideas up for criticism but 99.8% of responses were positive! I had dozens of people offer to volunteer their help and expertise. Soon I had a construction team – electrician, plumber, designer, highways consultant then an environmental team of ecologists and arboriculturalists. The current regular young riders are very much a big part of it; they provide their ideas, have appeared on radio and in the press and will be a big part of the design process.

Hannah Escott
burlish bike park
Credit: Izak (one of the young riders and photographer).

The goal is to build a bike park for the wider community and help the sport become more inclusive. A great resource for young riders that will create a lifelong love for riding bikes. This is a chance to build something for future generations to come. “We can introduce new people into mountain biking, including disadvantaged kids. Our chance to share that buzz we get in every ride, that feeling in our hearts and that smile on our faces with people who have never experienced it before! It’s our chance to give back and we’d love for you to be part of that,” said Hannah.

See the Crowdfunder here.


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Comments

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Making Burlish Bike Park Official
  • Mark
    Full Member

    From the front page..

    danmac
    Free Member

    Theres a spot i haven’t ridden since being a stroppy teen on a bmx. Great to see it getting an offical status now!

    tthew
    Full Member

    Ah the article/forum link has been turned on, excellent. Love this story, positive engagement from an (unwitting!) land owner where many would just want it all flattened and fenced off. Chuck a few coins in the hat people, important to support this kind of initiative. 👍

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

The topic ‘Making Burlish Bike Park Official’ is closed to new replies.

Not too good about writing about myself, but not so bad at writing about other things. There was a time that I hated bikes, but then they became my life. Wouldn't be the person I am if I hadn't been on this journey. Here's to bikes, drinking tea and everything that comes with life on two wheels. I'm Lauren, I like bikes and writing about them. Always trying my best and up for adventures.

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