A group of Wakefield volunteers are in the early stages of transforming a huge forestry block into a new mountainbike park.
The group were given access to the land by forestry company OneFortyOne, but it’s been left to the community to plan, organise and manage the project.
One of the volunteers, Kate West, says the new “Kainui MTB Park” will be located adjacent to Tunnicliffe Forest just south of Wakefield and will feature grade 2 and 3 trails, which the region currently lacks.
“To have easy and intermediate tracks will help those families who want to go biking.”
The MTB Trails Trust, which exists to turn the Top of the South into a top mountainbiking destination, is overseeing the project as it starts to take shape on the 131ha section.
Trust treasurer Alan Eskrick says the trails at Kainui will mostly be hand built with the use of a digger if required.
“We are looking for keen mountainbikers who can spare a bit of their time – young and old – to come and help out.”
Kate says it is up to the community to turn the plan into a reality and thanked Chris Mildon, who worked extensively with OneFortyOne, to get the project off the ground.
The park will link up with the Great Taste Trail, offering riders the chance to access the site from there.
OneFortyOne’s environmental planner, Jo Field, says the company is excited to see the new park in action and hopes the community will get involved in its development. The company has also set aside some funds for the first two trails.
The volunteer group has been holding regular track-building workshops.
“We had a nice surprise when we turned up on Sunday,” says Kate. “There isn’t as much gorse to clear as we initially thought. I took my 10-year-old along and she loved helping out.”
She says the onus is on the community to keep the project going by building and maintaining it.