Meeting for mountain bikers about new Swinley Forest routesBy Julie Spencer
November 27, 2012
Mountain bikers can find out about the construction of a cycle network through Swinley Forest at a public meeting.
The event is being organised by mountain biker Ben Pinnick after last week’s announcement by the Crown Estate that a 24-kilometre formal cycle network is being laid through the forest.
The routes are expected to be open in March when bikers will be banned from venturing off the routes into the forest.
John Deakin, chief forester with the Crown Estate, is expected at the meeting on Thursday, December 6 to talk about the three trails, catering for different abilities.
Mr Deakin said unrestricted biking on unmarked trails was damaging the forest, which is a Natural England designated Special Protection Area.
Ben, who lives in Crowthorne and has been riding in the forest for nine years and is a former racer, said he believed the Crown Estate was doing the right thing.
He said bikers were pleased the Crown Estate had engaged Back on Track MTB Solutions to build the network.
He said: “The continued expansion (of biking) was going to be unsustainable.
“There were designated areas and it has expanded outside these areas and it is very good that the Crown Estate has taken control of the situation.
“They have absolutely taken the right approach and it was inevitable that some action would have to be taken to formalise it as it was too risky.
“There is no proven evidence of damage to the environment but numbers are increasing and it is too risky for the Crown Estate to allow it to continue.
“The caveat there is that some bikers would have liked the process to be more consultative, but they have got the right people in who know what they are doing.”
The trails will be built to International Mountain Bike Association industry standards.
The location and time of the meeting have yet to be finalised.
Go to www.getbracknell.co.uk or see next week’s Bracknell Forest Standard for the latest details.