The Boys Brigade, led by Raymond Deans, headed up the forest in February to make a start on our first mountain bike trail. I was hugely excited having walked the track with David Kilpatrick from the Bike Shed in Rothesay a few weeks before. Aidan, a teacher and Richard, one of our Directors and our volunteer Forester, came along to share their skills.
The lads were really keen, and helped out with every step of the process – collecting the timber, measuring the site, putting the first logs into place, nailing on the planks and covering the bridge with chicken wire.
They were keen to see where the full trails will go, so with much falling over and stepping into burns (particularly one young man – I shall name no names!), we walked up and down the trails talking about other places to bike and the continuous cover approach we are taking to managing the woodland we have. We had some debate about the grading of the trail, especially the red/black-possibly-even-orange trail which might need a bit more thought into how to downgrade the severity.
The lads learnt a lot in their afternoon, with many never having used a hammer and nails before and saying they would otherwise have spent their afternoon playing computer games (which led to a long discussion about the merits of various computer games!). They completed one bridge and almost completed a second -only 3 more to go!