Tweed Valley forest ‘zones’ mapped out to tackle safety fears

Horse rider

image copyrightFLS

image captionThe Tweed Valley forests are popular with horse riders

A series of zones have been mapped out in the forests of the Tweed Valley to try to tackle safety concerns.

The area in the Scottish Borders is popular with mountain bikers, walkers and horse riders.

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) said the forests were “wonderful places” but were “increasingly busy” with people enjoying different pursuits.

It said the zoning would allow everyone to use the area in a “responsible and safe manner”.

image copyrightFLS
image captionMountain bikers are keen to help develop trails in the area

The move comes after land management consultation in the Tweed Valley.

Katie Jarvis, of the FLS, said there had been concerns raised about safety and “reduced opportunities to enjoy quiet and slow recreation”.

At the same time, she said mountain bikers were also keen to maintain and develop the paths and trails network.

FLS hopes the move to create separate zones could “promote greater mutual understanding and consideration of other forest users’ needs”.

image copyrightFLS
image captionSeparate zones hope to help promote consideration between all groups using the forests

“We believe that the recreation areas give everyone the space to enjoy their chosen pastime,” Ms Jarvis said.

The proposals have been welcomed by many users of the forests.

Graeme McLean, head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland, said the plans gave clear areas where the sport – and associated trail development – would be “tolerated and encouraged”.

The measures have been described as a “fair compromise” by Neil Carnegie, who chairs the Tweed Valley Trail Association.

image copyrightFLS
image captionThe zones aim to allow all users to enjoy the area with “mutual understanding and consideration”

Lesley Muirden, of Tweed Valley Forest Users Group and the British Horse Society (Scotland), added that the framework should bring “benefits and clarity” for everyone visiting the forests.

Full details of the zones

are available at the FLS website.

Related Topics

  • Forestry

  • Walking
  • Peebles
  • Horses

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