Netco (North East Trail Centre Organisation) have revealed the plans to a “world-class” mountain bike park and adventure centre with snow sports in Durris Forest, situated between Stonehaven and Banchory, Aberdeenshire. Its location is easily accessible from the A90 and new Western Peripheral route. The north-east is Scotland’s final geographical gap in large mountain biking amenities and this will fill it.
Construction will be planned in phases, the first of which Netco said would focus on building mountain biking trail networks and installing an uplift facility. The group intends to operate and maintain the facility if approved.
Public consultations with the local community will take place early next year ahead of a formal planning application to Aberdeenshire council.
- The approximate £10million community-based project cover 256 hectares and comprise of 45km of purpose-built trails graded for all abilities. The development could also be the first mountain bike park in the UK to install a mechanical open-air chairlift, designed primarily for mountain bike userss giving quick access to the Cairn-Mon-Earn summit in an open double-seated chair.
- The trail network plans include cross-country singletrack, downhill runs, flow trails, natural enduro trails and a pump track.
- A new outdoor snow sports centre is included in the group’s concept designs. If plans go-ahead, it is thought to be the first mountain bike project in Scotland to feature dry slope skiing and snowboarding facilities.
- Netco chairman Martin Byers believes it's the perfect time to launch their vision of a multi-adventure activity mountain bike park, which they firmly believe is greatly needed in Aberdeenshire. The project aims to bring more visitors to mountain bike in Scotland and boost domestic adventure sports tourism.
- The proposed year-round facility could attract in excess of 100,000 overnight and day visitors a year.
- Accommodation for visitors in the form of glamping is proposed.
- Some of the development’s adventure pursuits could include ziplining, orienteering, toboggan runs, and tubing. And outdoor nature and learning activities such as woodland walks, paths for runners, early year forest schools, stargazing, sport coaching, and an adventure play park for children, could form part of the plans.