New Mountain Biking trails project at Glentress takes a step closer

24 November 2017  |  

Planning applications for 56 secluded eco-cabins and 16km of new trails at Glentress Forest have now been submitted to Scottish Borders Council.

The proposed £11.3 million tourism development is being managed by a partnership between Forest Enterprise Scotland and Forest Holidays.

Glentress Mountain Bike Trails


Forest Holidays will provide private sector investment of £10 million for the project with the remaining £1.3 million from Forest Enterprise Scotland, which will focus on new recreation facilities.

The investment has the potential of generating an extra £1 million into the local economy each year and employment of up to 60 people.

The project is a prime example of the private and public sector working together to boost tourism in the region. It also reinforces the “Team Scotland” partnership approach, a key message at the recent forest tourism summit hosted at Glentress.  

Sallie Bailey, Forest District Manager for Forest Enterprise Scotland said:  “Forest tourism in the Borders is certainly in the spotlight. The recent forest tourism summit was an important first step in bringing public and private tourism interests together to seek new opportunities to grow this sector.

“Forest Enterprise Scotland is contributing to this on a number of fronts. The cabins and new trail proposals would be another great asset for the Tweed Valley and south of Scotland.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation drop-in events and completed our online questionnaires. The feedback was greatly appreciated and helped shape the final proposals that we put forward.”

The combined attractions are part of the award winning Glentress Masterplan project which has was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance and widely consulted on for the last two years.

Under the proposals, a new mountain bike skills area will be built along with a number of new biking taster trails for all levels. The new trails will incorporate elements of the ‘Freeride’ area, as well as a new route for walkers. All the new trails will be situated around the Glentress Peel development at Castle Hill.

These new facilities will replace the existing skills and freeride areas at Buzzard’s nest, where the cabin development is planned to be situated.

Forest Holidays is taking forward the new eco-cabin development which would be sensitively blended into the forest’s surroundings.

Bruce McKendrick, Chief Executive Officer of Forest Holidays attended the recent Tourism Summit at Glentress and commented:  

“We are committed to working closely with the community surrounding Glentress. Our guests delight in discovering new experiences and the Tweed Valley has a wealth of dramatic scenery, incredible adventures and authentic local attractions for visitors to enjoy.

“We are proud to already contribute to the rural economy in Scotland through our two existing locations at Strathyre and Ardgartan Argyll, by supporting local businesses and helping to create a vibrant tourist economy 365 days a year. Together with our Forest Enterprise Scotland partner we are confident that the Glentress Masterplan will bring many more opportunities to the area.”

A decision on the two planning applications is expected in the Spring 2018.

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Trails in Article

Glentress Mountain Bike Trail Centre