In an opening ceremony at Cumbernauld Glen Wildlife Reserve, partners involved in the project met with Stewart Maxwell, Minister for Communities and Sport. The minister marked the trail's official opening by blowing a start horn to prompt local school children to take to the tracks.

The new bike track is Scotland's first mile-long urban mountain bike trail, which provides users with the option of three different routes, graded by difficulty, as well as a skills loop for training.

With an investment of more than £130,000, SWT hopes the trail will make mountain biking safe for locals and protect the area's sensitive wildlife habitats.

Initiatives to encourage schools and the local community to make good use of the new trail have already been successfully implemented by FCS, a key partner in the project who also helped with the practical development and delivery of the trail.

Duncan Clark, SWT reserve manager, explained: "Our decision to build Glen Mile Mountain Bike Trail was a direct response to a growing problem.

Local mountain bikers were creating their own wild trails which saw them dig up sensitive woodland habitats to create jumps as well as posing a danger to walkers and other reserve users.

"We have now established a recreational facility which provides mountain bikers with a safe, designated area and protects wildlife.

"This ensures that all the users of our reserve, from mountain bikers to dog walkers, have a safe and pleasant outdoors experience."
Stewart Maxwell, Minister for Communities and Sport, said: "The trail will be a great asset which the local community can enjoy for decades to come.

"It's great to see school pupils are already using this facility and I hope it will encourage more people to get on their bikes, get fit and enjoy the great outdoors without damaging the natural environment. "

To encourage the local community to use the site, FCS purchased bikes for Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools to allow cycling and mountain biking as part of PE lessons.

In addition Cycling Scotland provided training to teachers and local volunteers with the assistance of SWT to encourage access to the trail.

Having been in operation since its completion in August, the trail has already attracted over 3500 visits from local biking enthusiasts. It is also already being used by Cumbernauld's cycle cops and of course pupils from Abronhill High School.
                                                                                As reported in the

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