A Pump Track for Laggan
The Laggan Forest Trust (LFT) has submitted an application to SSE’s Stronelairg Community Benefit Fund to request partial funding for a project to build a small bike park for young people, also known as a “pump track”. If the application is successful, the funds requested (£10,000) will contribute to 46% of the overall project cost. The balance of the project funds are being applied for via Big Lottery “Awards 4 All” and voluntary work & fundraising amounting to. We intend to gather the latter contribution from fundraising and donations at 3 major mountain biking events to be held at Wolftrax over April, May and June 2019.
This project intends to deliver a pump track or small bike park that will encourage young people to cycle for fun and develop their skills to become competent cyclists, either as a regular activity or taking it into higher-specific disciplines like road or mountain biking.
A pump track is a looped track that consists of a number of berms (banked corners) and rollers (bumps) and other trail features that allow a cyclist to generate speed without pedalling. A pump track is one of many types of skills facilities areas designed to develop technique and skills in a safe and fun environment.
The facility will be based at the Laggan Wolftrax Trail Centre, on land owned by LFT. The Trust manages 19 hectares of community-own land near Laggan, with most of it assigned for recreation, conservation and small forestry operations. The facility will be located within a parcel of land designated for community amenities, close to the present Woltrax Centre and café.
An earlier assessment to build the facility at the sited location showed scope for a facility with the following characteristics: a dirt track of 15x30 metres footprint, 150 metres of linear track and approximately 1.2 metres wide. It will be located on the right hand corner as you enter Wolftrax from the A86. Maintenance of the facility will be done through our volunteer network. A people counter will be installed in order to gather information about user numbers and assess potential future development activities such as funded organised coaching sessions and led cycle rides.
The project’s main objectives are:
- Encourage young local residents to become more familiar and proficient in cycling.
- Encourage local residents to take up cycling as a healthy leisure activity.
There has been a high level of interest in having a Blue Trail for some time now. LFT recognises that the lack of this particular trail presents a barrier for many cyclists and we are working with Forestry and Land Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority and Highlands & Islands Enterprise to find ways to make it happen.
Any potential development of this trail will be on land presently owned by Forestry and Land Scotland.
The lack of a blue trail presently restricts the number of family visitors to all the trails to mainly very experienced mountain bikers. It is hoped that the construction of a blue trail will allow more families and less experienced cyclists to graduate from the present “easy” green trail at the Wolftrax Centre to the Gorstean car park by preparing a trail with superior views of the Spey Valley higher up in the Achduchil forest.
The Multi-trails Project
The Multi-trails project is a transnational LEADER co-operation project between the Community Woodlands Association in Scotland and the Sjö, Skog & Fjäll Local Action Group in Sweden. The objective of the project is to share innovative techniques and best practice for the construction, promotion and management of mixed-use trails (i.e. where it is likely that multiple user groups: pedestrians, cyclists, riders might interact). LFT is a partner in the project and it will look into improving a potential Heritage Trail in a specific section that needs a reduction in gradient to make it available to a wider audience.
The “participating community woodland groups” are:
- Abriachan Forest Trust
- Aigas Community Forest
- The Laggan Forest Trust
- Lochcarron Community Development Company
- Strathnairn Community Woodlands