Dunnottar Castle Bus Stops Link
The works involved the construction of a 2m wide footpath on the road verge of the A92 at Dunnottar Castle.
Built on a previous coal mine site, Lochore Meadows Country Park is a hidden gem in Fife’s magnificent countryside.
As the name suggests, the park sits on the majestic Loch Ore and is home to blooming meadows, expansive parkland and dense woodlands - all just waiting to be explored. However, there was one thing this area was missing.
Purpose-built mountain bike trails.
Working collaboratively with a third-party designer, the CRC team got to work creating exciting MTB trails within the country park that everyone could enjoy. With the aim of building approximately 4.5km of new mountain bike trails and a skills loop, a key objective of this project was to ensure that the completed trails were extra wide and could accommodate wheelchair users and their specialist bikes.
We deployed two trail squads to deliver the project, equipped with a 14-tonne excavator for more open sections and a 5-tonne excavator for working on areas with tighter access restrictions. We chose the surfacing aggregate for its durability and the fact it can be easily topped up using material from the local quarry as required.
To ensure the works and equipment were safe on site, we set up heras fencing and safety signage at all entry points. We also returned all machinery to the park’s activity centre compound at the end of each day, protecting it from theft and/or vandalism. Transport of the machinery to and from the compound was made possible by bolting a set of rubber pads onto the excavator’s steel tracks - a cost-effective way to transport the machine through the park without damaging the roads.
Elevation change is a key feature of any good mountain biking trail, which the Lochore Meadows land severely lacked. However, our experienced trail-building team and third-party designer worked together to install roller ‘pumps’, berms and other features that make the trails interesting, progressive and enjoyable for various abilities.
Another challenge presented to us involved working around windblown trees and stumps on the trails. Typically, we would try to work around these features as much as possible. However, on this occasion, it was necessary to move the trees and stumps that provided too much of an obstacle and would make the trail unsafe. Using our 14-tonne excavator with grapple, we were able to handle these materials easily and move them to the side, providing a clear run for the new trails.
Environmentally, there were a couple of factors we had to consider, the first being bird nesting season which was accounted for by planning construction outwith the season. It was also important to remember that we were working on reclaimed land and needed to take extra care so we didn't disturb the reinstated mine below. With this in mind, we took precautions to guard us against the potential for surface subsidence and accidental emissions leading to contamination.
The trails within Lochore Meadow Country Park have been received well by visitors, particularly wheelchair users who can now access challenging, purpose-built MTB trails that accommodate their requirements.
The trails are low maintenance, and any resurfacing or minor repairs can be carried out by the park’s team. However, we are excited to be revisiting the site in late 2022 to extend the trails even further.
Watch this space!
How can we support your next project?
We work in sensitive environments to protect communities and habitats, allowing people to access nature in a sympathetic way.
Our skilled team has the expertise to complete a range of civil works for different sectors and purposes, while reducing environmental impact.
From concept to reality, we design and construct mountain biking trails and footpaths that are unique to their location and complement the natural landscape.