and enjoy the benefits
Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and a number of northern Sydney mountain bike groups met this week to work on ways to establish one of the finest urban mountain trail bike systems in Australia.
A key focus was addressing some of the immediate issues around impacts to parks following the explosion in the popularity of this type of outdoor recreation.
NPWS Regional Manager, Chris McIntosh said the meeting was held to discuss the impacts of mountain bike riding and to examine what opportunities exist for more sustainable and more enjoyable mountain bike tracks in Sydneys northern bushland.
It was a very positive and constructive meeting and it was obvious right from the start that the mountain bike groups were very serious about working with us to minimise rider impacts but also to encourage greater use, enjoyment and appreciation of some of the worlds best bushland areas, said Mr McIntosh.
After an eye opening field inspection we agreed to develop a joint agreement that will outline some broad principles and some agreed strategies that we will all work on over the next five years.
In developing a track network, careful consideration will be given to the interests of other user groups such as bushwalkers and horseriders, the high erosiveness of the soils, the cost of construction and maintenance, rehabilitation of damaged areas and the impacts on threatened species, rare vegetation types and significant Aboriginal sites.
In order to provide a sustainable yet diverse and challenging experience for cyclists will also require a region-wide approach, with linkages across the various public lands and involvement of other state and local government land managers.
We agreed at the meeting to work together and to engage other land managers to develop a Mountain Trail Bike Strategy for northern Sydney, which will follow a process proposed by International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Australia, ensuring the continuing involvement of mountain bike riders while also utilising best practice in track design and construction to minimise environmental impacts.
NPWS has successfully worked through similar issues with bike groups in the Royal National Park and Glenrock State Conservation Area and we are hoping we can do the same in northern Sydney he said.
Mountain biking representatives from Dee Why, Manly, Warringah and Hornsby attended the workshop as well as peak bodies Mountain Bike Australia, IMBA and a number of NPWS staff.
I thought the meeting was very beneficial and certainly a step in the right direction, Mr Bowman said.
The NPWS fully supports and encourages mountain biking undertaken legally and safely its a great way to enjoy our national parks, in fact we have already started designing a new mountain bike Discovery tour, Mr McIntosh said.
There are more than 100 kilometres of management trails within our national parks in northern Sydney that are currently available for use by mountain bike riders and we intend to take best advantage of these as part of the development of a region wide network of trails.
Media Contact: Gabrielle Last