Managing the impact of Mountain Biking in the Surrey Hills
Cyclists are having a major impact on the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The popularity of mountain biking through the woods and commons of the greensand hills, with new paths being carved out around the existing network of foot and bridlepaths, has created tension with landowners and other leisure users.
To proactively manage the impact and ensure that all user groups are able to enjoy the Surrey Hills without spoiling it for each other, the Surrey Hills AONB Board has co-ordinated the creation of a new Mountain Bike trail named ‘Summer Lightning’ on Leith Hill. This new trail offers bikers a segregated route on which to enjoy Mountain Biking in the Surrey Hills which reduces the conflict with other users and protects the wildlife of the commons.
The new trail starts at Leith Hill Tower, passing through private land, National Trust and Forestry Commission land and then joins the existing Summer Lightning trail.
Chairman of the Mountain Biking Working Group, Neil Maltby comments;
“Mountain biking is here to stay, it is a growing sport and we need to work together to manage it. We are delighted that bikers now have the Summer Lightning Trail which should reduce the conflict with other users of the Surrey Hills. If this trail is affective we will try to extend the network and benefit to other areas in the Surrey Hills.”
The Surrey Hills Trust Fund has been established in partnership with the Community Foundation for Surrey to support a width of improvements across the Surrey Hills AONB and help conserve and enhance this specially protected landscape. By supporting projects, programmes and activities that benefit the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we can ensure our countryside is preserved.
Cyclists are being encouraged to make financial contributions to the Surrey Hills Trust Fund to help maintain the new trail and extend the network. The Fund promotes local giving for local need, encouraging those who live in and enjoy the Surrey Hills to preserve their local landscape. For further information on the Surrey Hills Trust Fund visit www.cfsurrey.org.uk