Skip to main content

Relish Trail, Birse

NEAT, ATA and Birse Community Trust
March 2022

Work Scope

This project was to create a community-driven natural trail focused on less experienced riders. We wanted to create a trail with a low entry barrier but also a trail experienced riders could shred. The community trust, which owns the forest supported the project to increase mountain bike participation within the forest.

The ATA and the landowners, DMBinS and North East Adventure Tourism were able to support both in planning and financially to get the project off the ground. CRC trails worked on the concept through construction to bring the project to life and create a fun, flowy, blue trail. Community spirit and involvement drove this project to reality, and it's a great testament to Aberdeenshire and the region that it exists.

The constructed route is a natural trail purpose-built for bikes but is open to being ridden by kids and less experienced riders. Its unique design incorporates natural features into a durable, hard-wearing surface. This has opened up natural trails to many users new to the sport and, within the region, creates a new destination accessible to a broader demographic of mountain bikers. It's also demonstrated that you can build trails with a low barrier to entry that has advanced options for better riders.

Most trails fall into two categories—trail centres or natural hand-built trails. The trail centres style trails are generally ageing, not up to modern standards, and therefore deemed too easy or not exciting. Natural hand-built trails are often very technically demanding and require a high level of skill to ride. Relish was designed to bridge the two, retaining the excitement of natural trails while lowering the difficulty to allow more riders to progress towards the higher, more technical trails.

The reception to the trail has been very positive; from young kids through to world cup racers, all have enjoyed and praised throughout! It's almost certainly the most ridden 500m trail in Aberdeenshire this year and has been busy with various riders nearly every day of the year.

Ella Relish
Iago relish

How can we support your next project?

Get in touch