The Forestry Commission England and national cyclists’ organisation CTC have signed an official partnership agreement aimed at increasing the role of cycling on the Forestry Commission Estate, with the aim of supporting local tourism initiatives and helping boost the health of the nation, while also enabling people to experience beautiful surroundings from the saddle.
CTC and The Forestry Commission say that over the coming five years they ‘will work together to promote physical activity through cycling in woodlands, delivering new and innovative ways of using cycling to engage young people with the natural environment and seeking new funding and partnership opportunities in order to reach new audiences.”
To help develop the initiative, CTC will be creating new Cycling Development Officer positions to help co-ordinate its work with Forestry Commission, as well as extending member benefits.
The two organisations are currently working together on a number of projects including a cycling for the disabled initiative at Alice Holt in Hampshire, getting holidaymaking families in Sherwood, Haldon, the New Forest, Kielder and Dalby to try cycling for the first time, providing support to young persons developing new community trail projects in the South East, and rolling out a new off-road trail network in the South West.
Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair, commented: “With over 10 million cycling visits being made every year to Forestry Commission woodlands, cycling is very much at the heart of what we do. Our woodlands are the setting for many people’s first off-road cycling experience and are celebrated as a favourite place to enjoy mountain biking.
“We have a long-standing relationship with CTC and are delighted to make it official. Working together gives us a fantastic opportunity to develop new and exciting cycling initiatives.”
Kevin Mayne, CTC Chief Executive, added: “The CTC and Forestry Commission continue to make a real difference in providing cycling opportunities to a very diverse range of cyclists, across all age groups.
“CTC is very happy to cement our relationship with The Forestry Commission and we look forward to continuing our involvement with current cycling projects, while delivering a number of new and exciting opportunities across the Forestry Estate.
“We really want to encourage as many members of the community to get the most from their local woodland and at the same time gain the full range of benefits that cycling offers”.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.