35km+ of all-weather trails planned

A feasibility study is under way to assess the creation of a major new mountain biking trail centre in Aberdeenshire.

A group called the North East Trail Centre Organisation (NETCO) wants to “create the best trail centre in Scotland and put the North East on the map”. With this in mind they’ve funded and launched a feasibility study into doing just that.

The three potential sites shortlisted are Durris, Pitfichie, and Hill of Fare.

Geographical gap

The essential thrust of this project is that although Scotland has a number of existing trail centres, there is something of a significant geographical gap. A gap that’s been highlighted by other organisations too (Scottish Cycling, Sportscotland, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland).

Current trail centres are gathered around the south and west of Scotland. There is a clear gap in the north east region of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. NETCO hopes to fill this gap with a “high quality, large national level trail centre”.

NETCO state: “our vision, the trail centre will address a significant geographic gap by providing Scotland’s third largest City with a network of 35km+ of all-weather multi-grade trails meeting the needs of all riders, from beginners to elite riders.”

Speaking to BBC Scotland, chairman of Netco, Martin Byers: “It’s a well-known fact that in the north east there’s a real gap in dedicated mountain bike facilities. You just do not find them in Aberdeenshire.

“We set up Netco to bring proper world class mountain bike facilities to the north east.”