Many mountain bikers are looking for new opportunities. As a result of this, there has been an increase in the number of mountain bike trails constructed without permission from the land manager. This has resulted in a range of benefits including maintaining participation through new challenges, developing the skills of riders including our best athletes and tourism opportunities in key destinations and events utilising these trails. The trails have created a number of problems, including the potential environmental damage and injury to mountain bikers and other users, and also raise liability concerns for land managers’ due to their duty of care to those on their land.
While Scotland’s right of responsible access includes cycling, it does not extend to the construction of trails without permission from the land manager. The guidance stresses the importance of dialogue between land managers and bikers in order to find solutions to problems on the ground and makes positive suggestions for the future. These include the adoption of trails by land managers or agreements with volunteers or mountain bike groups/trails associations/clubs.