Leckhampton Hill beauty spot to have minor bike tracks re-modelled 

Published on 26th May 2021

volunteers arranging felled logs on bike track

Work to Leckhampton Hill is gearing up to re-model a few of the tracks made by mountain bikers who have worked hard to create exciting routes for all levels at the beauty spot.

Last year, progress was made with a wide range of stakeholders on developing solutions to enable all users to enjoy Leckhampton Hill. This identified a small number of bike tracks that need to be re-modelled to keep walkers and riders safe and include better signage to alert other users to mountain bike specific tracks.

The handful of minor tracks will be closed with logs and earth because it is not possible to make their intersection with footpaths safe.  It is hoped that riders will understand that this small price is worth paying for the greater benefit of the vast majority of mountain bike trails being left with signage to deter walkers.

As representatives from the council, cycling clubs, and Friends of Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common (FOLK) were about to pick up spades and start the physical work, lockdown hit and the work went on hold.  In the Spring, some new signage and felled logs were put in place to help slow bikes exiting tracks to the car park. Further work also started to alter tracks. With lockdown easing, some of the work has been undone with logs and earth being removed. Undeterred, the group have come together to get things moving again and share the plans for tracks and trails

Cllr Victoria Atherstone member for culture, wellbeing & business said: ‘’It is easy to see why Leckhampton Hill is so attractive to visitors, walkers, runners and trail bikers, as we all know the benefits of outdoor pursuits. Though we do all need to work together to not only preserve the landscape but to also keep each other safe.

‘’That is why some of the bike trails are being re-modelled, to avoid clashes between trail bikers and walkers.

‘’An exciting volunteering day on Sunday 30 May is on the horizon with the council’s green space team and representatives from cycling groups and clubs ready to give a warm welcome to volunteers and put the remodelling plan into action.’’

To register your interest in volunteering for the Leckhampton Hill working party group Sunday 30 May or just to come along and learn what’s happening, please email greenspaceteam@cheltenham.gov.uk. Volunteers are asked to arrive for 9.30am, the working group are expected to finish at approximately 12.30pm.

Clive Lewis, Mountain Bike Captain for Cheltenham & County Cycling Club said: ‘’Leckhampton Hill is an area for enjoyment by multiple user groups and we’re lucky to be able to enjoy great trails on a site of special scientific interest. We’ve worked with the council, local riders, FOLK, The Ramblers, Natural England, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Active Gloucestershire to look at the way the hill is being used and address concerns that have been raised by visitors, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

‘’We hope that a few small changes will allow all parties to enjoy the area. There’s room for all of us if we are considerate of each other. We’d be thrilled to see others who enjoy the hill join our volunteer working group or just come along to learn more.’’

Further information about Leckhampton Hill can be found on the council website. To find out more about Friends of Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings (FOLK) visit www.leckhamptonhill.org.uk

For media enquiries please contact communications@cheltenham.gov.uk call 01242 264 231