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Glentress freeride to be replaced by luxury cabins but more new trails promised - MBR

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£11.3 million eco-cabin development.

Glentress Buzzard’s Nest freeride and skills area to make way for luxury eco-cabin private development but more new trails promised.

>>> Trail centre guide: Glentress, Scotland

Details of a private enterprise development and the ensuing trail changes at Glentress have caused something of a stir amidst fans of the much loved trail centre.

Concerned critics of the plans are fearful that the development – and even the proposed new trails – are overly aimed at a wealthy luxury tourist demographic and will not cater for the existing Glentress rider or for experienced riders in general.

Press release in full

Forest Enterprise Scotland has revealed more details of the biking trails being proposed for Glentress Forest as part of the new £11.3 million eco-cabins development.

Over £1 million is to be spent on the new biking trails with the aim of keeping 7stanes Glentress at the top of its game.

Around 16 km of new trail will be built, a larger skills area, taster trails for beginners to experts, new descents linking to existing 7stanes trails and some hand-cut enduro style biking sections.

Pre-Planning applications for both the trails and the Forest Holidays eco-cabins have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council. The total investment for trails and the cabins is worth £11.3 million.

A two day consultation event at Glentress Peel is being planned for 1st and 2nd September where mountain bikers and other visitors can give their feedback on the cabin and biking plans.

Sallie Bailey, Forest District Manager with Forest Enterprise Scotland said:

“With the proposal to locate 56 of the new eco-cabins in the Buzzard’s nest location we need to replace the old skills area and existing ‘freeride’ trails. The plan is to bring the new trail features closer to the Peel building on the nearby hillside.

“Our mountain biking rangers, who are all keen riders themselves, have been meeting with many local biking interests and explaining the plans in greater detail.

“There were very positive exchanges and it looks like they are all up for the refreshed Glentress. We’re really pleased to see that Katy Winton, the no2 enduro rider in the world from Peebles appears to be thrilled with the new biking investment.

“The new features will give riders more trail, more skills training and new descents, drop offs and tabletops with some enduro type riding too.”

Current biking plans up for consultation include:

Skills Area

  • Larger area with bigger range of features to train on
  • Area for kids balance bikes
  • Green, blue, red and black sections for skills development
  • Climbs and descents
  • Rollers, small rhythm bumps and shallow berms
  • Open area for gathering and coaching groups.

Taster trails

  • Designed to take skills to the next step
  • 6 short trails covering all grades of riding
  • Two natural trails for enduro type riding
  • Some trails to contain drop-offs, table tops, jumps similar to existing Freeride area
  • Designed so sections can be ‘sessioned’ or used for group coaching.
  • New sections to join the existing 7stanes trail network back to the Peel centre
  • Will feature green, blue, red and black descents
  • An area of descent will be left for a hand-cut enduro type descent back to the Peel centre.

Neil Dalgleish of Hillside Outside Ltd, the local company which heads up the TweedLove biking festival and Tour O’The Borders added:

“The new trails will be of huge benefit to Glentress, which should have a knock-on effect throughout the valley. The design makes a lot of sense, and this development can help re-affirm the Tweed Valley’s reputation as the leading MTB destination in the UK.
“I’m sure TweedLove’s MTB events will make the most of the new trails and features – the future’s looking bright.”

What do you think?

Any changes to things that people love are always met with suspicion or outright hostility. Is this development copping flak purely for such NIMBY-ish reasons? Or do you think regular riders are going to lose out with this development?

Leave a comment below or join the debate on our social media channels.