Ramps removed by Forestry Commission

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Teenagers in Banchory were left disappointed last week when ramps they had constructed for their mountain bikes were demolished and taken away by the Forestry Commission.

The Piper received a phone call from a Banchory resident who walks in the Corsee Woods behind Burnett Hill.

She said that, while walking through the woods, she noticed workers from the Forestry Commission demolishing the hours of work teenagers had put in to creating the jumps.

The ramps, jumps and bridges the children had created were not on the main path and, according to the resident, “not in anyone’s way.”

She added “It’s a real shame, as the boys spent hours making these wooden ramps to play on when on their bikes and they’ve just been taken away.

“The group of lads were often there, possiby aged about 13 or 14 years old, and they were always very pleasant and no bother. They always cleaned up after themselves and looked like they were having a great time playing around in the fresh air. It’s just a shame, after all those hours of work, and now they’ll come up and it’ll all be gone”.

A spokesperson for Forestry Commission Scotland said: “We are strongly supportive of cycling on the national forest estate but we can’t allow these sorts of features to stay in place.

“It’s our job to make sure that trails or built features found in our woodlands are safe to use - and these clearly weren’t. It’s the safety element that is key to the design, construction and maintenance of mountain bike features and that’s why anything of this sort must be put together by professionals.

“Incorrectly designed and built features could cause someone a serious - or even fatal - injury and that is not something that we are prepared to risk.

“We are always happy to talk to any cycling groups who would like to work in partnership with us to get mountain bike facilities properly designed and built.”