100+ Groups Form new UK MTB Trail Alliance

A new national body of mountain bike trail groups, advocates, and bike parks has formed to share knowledge and advocate for riders in the United Kingdom.
Provided photo.

A group of mountain bikers has formed a new national-level mountain bike advocacy organization in the United Kingdom: the UK MTB Trail Alliance. With over 100 trail groups committed to supporting the organization so far, the UK MTB Trail Alliance is off to a good start and has set a £10,000 fundraising goal to cover basic operating expenses for first year operations.

Founder and Chair Robin Grant told me over email he hopes that “by working with landowners to allay and mitigate their concerns, and by helping local communities take on their management, fewer ‘unofficial’ trails will be shut down. In short, better trails for everyone!” Grant has assembled an all-star board of trustees including former DH World Champ and environmental advocate Manon Carpenter and Ian Warby, a former IMBA UK board member.

The UK MTB Trail Alliance includes groups from all around the United Kingdom ranging from the well-established, like Peak District MTB and Tayside Trail Association, to more informal trail groups like Risca Riders in south Wales and Trash Free Cambu in central Scotland. Bike parks Revolution and Aston Hill are on board too, and alliance members have agreed to share best practices via an online platform called the Trail Hub.

“We hope that by supporting our members and facilitating knowledge sharing, we’ll enable more time and resources to be more effectively spent on the trails themselves,” said Grant.

In addition to sharing knowledge, the UK MTB Trail Alliance hopes to give mountain bikers a stronger voice at the national level, though that may be a challenge given the all-volunteer nature of the group. As noted in a press release announcing the formation of the alliance, “there are membership fees for professional bodies in order to lobby and influence, the admin costs of setting up and running a charity, and expenses to cover.”

Individuals can donate to the UK MTB Trail Alliance via this Go Fund Me campaign, and interested parties can request access to the Trail Hub on the group’s website.

“It’s great that trail associations across the UK finally have a home and place to share good practice, support, and experience,” Henry Norman, founder and director of Ride Sheffield, said in the press release. “To build better trails and communities, making mountain biking a better space for all.”