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From the roots to the shoots 2010 Andy Wardman - Why are Volunteers Valuable

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Andy's presentation on the Glentress Trail Faries from the 2010 IMBA-UK Conference in Glentress

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From the roots to the shoots 2010 Andy Wardman - Why are Volunteers Valuable

  1. 1. 10 September From The Roots to From the Roots to the Shoots Andy Wardman - Why are volunteers valuable
  2. 2. Volunteering - why are volunteers valuable? A look at the.. Andy Wardman - FCS MTB Ranger, Trailfairy Supervisor Rich Latimer - Trailfairy volunteer, TVTC, Bikes & Berms Bruce Fraser - Trailfairy volunteer, Midlothian Council
  3. 3. Footer text10/09/20103 Valuable Volunteers Intro • About the Trailfairies • Why Trailfairy volunteers are valuable to FCS, 7stanes & the Tweed Valley • Trailfairies - a volunteer’s perspective • Linking trail riding and trail building • Summary, Q & A
  4. 4. Footer text10/09/20104 Valuable Volunteers About the Trailfairies • Volunteer trailbuilding group who help with mtb trail maintenance work and trail refreshment at Glentress Forest • Managed/supervised by Forestry Commission Scotland • Sessions fortnightly on Saturdays (9am - 1pm) all year round • Accessible - free, no pre booking/membership/previous experience required • Why the ‘Trailfairies’??
  5. 5. Footer text10/09/20105 Valuable Volunteers History of the Trailfairies • Est. Feb 2002 by FCS and Pete Laing • 2002 - 2004: new trails/features during Phase 1 of 7stanes Project First ‘fairy session - Feb 2002, Wormhole trail, Black Route Ewok Village timber trails, 2002
  6. 6. Footer text10/09/20106 Valuable Volunteers History of Trailfairies • Restarted in Jan 2006 • ~5950 volunteer hours contributed since then (≡ £35k labour) Year Projects Total Vols Total Sessions Sat vol (Av) Wed eve vol (Av) 2006 Pie Run; Freeride/Skills/Magic Mushroom maint’; Falla Brae re route 307 29 12.5 6 2007 Essentials timber trails; Shallow Grave; Blue Route/Freeride/Lombard St/Falla Brae maint’; Pie Run exit re routes; Mushroom Pie 193 25 7.5 5.5 2008 Mushroom Pie; Zoom or Bust 255 26 11 4.5 2009 Zoom or Bust; Magic Mushroom/Pie Run/Falla Brae/Hit Squad Hill/Boundary Trail/Deliverance /Redemption maint’; Broon Troot exit 337 27 14 6.5 2010 Magic Mushroom resurfacing/re route; Falla Brae Black option re route 283* 19 (27) 17* 9 *sessions completed to date in 2010
  7. 7. Footer text10/09/20107 Valuable Volunteers How ‘Fairy Sessions Work • ‘fairy jobs/projects picked from overall FCS trail maintenance program • larger jobs/projects sit on 7stanes maintenance work program • smaller maintenance jobs from trail quality notes (e.g de berming) • Close link between FCS and volunteers
  8. 8. Footer text10/09/20108 Valuable Volunteers How ‘Fairy Sessions Work • FCS plan/organise/supervise sessions. Provide and maintain safe/healthy work conditions and equipment (supply PPE, tools, R.A’s, signage, training etc). • FCS manages volunteer sign up, records, web updates • FCS MTB Ranger acts as Designer, Forest Works Manager for trail works • 3rd party liability cover (via FC’s ‘self insurance’) for trailbuilding sessions and volunteers • Trailfairy Code of Conduct - for volunteers
  9. 9. Footer text10/09/20109 Valuable Volunteers Why Trailfairy Volunteers Are Valuable • Important contribution to trail maint’ program • help keep trails in good condition - safe/fun • Cost effective (minimal cash costs) • e.g. Pie Run trail @ 480m long (≡ £7.5 - 10k via contractors)
  10. 10. Footer text10/09/201010 Valuable Volunteers Why Trailfairy Volunteers Are Valuable • Excellent trail advocates: • promote good trail etiquette • care & pride in trails • promote the trails, trail developments • Ideas and input • Wide range of skills • Feedback on trails/trail issues • Education - spread trailbuilding knowledge • wider mtb community develop better understanding of trail maintenance - how and why
  11. 11. Footer text10/09/201011 Valuable Volunteers Why Trailfairy Volunteers Are Valuable • Building/maintaining trail with the fairies: • where excavator access is difficult/not desirable, efficient or cost effective. • low environmental impact. Lower impact on canopy • trail built tighter through trees, rocks and roots preserved/incorporated more easily.
  12. 12. Footer text10/09/201012 Valuable Volunteers • high quality/robust trail yet retain more ‘natural’, intimate feel • adds to range of ‘trail types’ at GT • contribute to program of trail refreshment - encourage repeat rider visits & raise overall quality of trail network = help boost local economy One way for FCS to deliver part of Scottish Forestry Strategy: 1. Improving the health & well being of people & communities
  13. 13. Footer text10/09/201013 Valuable Volunteers Volunteering for the Trailfairies? Name: Richard Latimer (Rich) Profession: Engineering/Mountain Biking Businesses Age: 39 Fairie: 4 years Just a Big Fairie! Hello and welcome to the Tweed Valley!
  14. 14. Footer text10/09/201014 Valuable Volunteers The Trailfairies • Who we are? • Why do we do it? • What’s it all about? • What else do we do? • The future
  15. 15. Footer text10/09/201015 Valuable Volunteers Who we are • A group of people from all ages and all walks of life • Men & Women • Young & not so young • Adults, teenagers, younger kids • Average around 12 trail builders per session • Energy, enthusiasm, fun, experience, responsible • Local & from further a field • Approximately 50% from within a 10 mile radius • Long distance fairies regularly travelling up to 100miles • A wealth of experience and knowledge • Accountants, architects, engineers, mechanics, students, IT The common denominator - Mountain Biking
  16. 16. Footer text10/09/201016 Valuable Volunteers Why do we do it? • Giving something back • Knowledge & Experience • Free parking • Health & Fitness • Helping & Involvement • A real say in what gets built • Riding, • Meeting people • Fun and enjoyment Or is it for the cakes?
  17. 17. Footer text10/09/201017 Valuable Volunteers What’s it all about? • Sexy Soil & Jaffa Cake Boxes • High quality trail work • Knowledge or education of the trails and how they are built • Health & safety • Flowing trails • Drainage • Parties • Purpose • Responsibility • Exercise • Skills • Fresh Air • Making friends
  18. 18. Footer text10/09/201018 Valuable Volunteers What else do we do • Working with the local mountain biking community • Peebles Cycling Club • Innerleithen MTB Racing • Tweed Valley Tourism Consortium • The Tweed Valley Bike Patrol • Enabling things to happen • Events • European Downhill Series • Air Maiden • Demo Days • Kids Downhill Series • Winter Downhill series • Dual slalom • SXC Series
  19. 19. Footer text10/09/201019 Valuable Volunteers The Future • Maintaining existing trail network • Trail use • Visitor numbers • Community responsibility • Progressive development • Developing ability • Funding challenges • Developing knowledge & responsibility • Enabling things to happen • Community buy in • More events • Bigger cakes • Better riding • Moving mountain biking forward
  20. 20. Footer text10/09/201020 Valuable Volunteers A Community Activity - trail riding and trail building • Background - Bruce Fraser, CLD Worker Midlothian Council and Trailfairy • Broad based approach to courses offered • Putting something “back into the system” • Encouraging Volunteering • Encouraging healthy lifestyles • Opportunities for recognising achievement • Other benefits
  21. 21. Footer text10/09/201021 Valuable Volunteers Summary • FCS led volunteer group, maintaining/refreshing trails to high standard • Skilled, experienced & enthusiastic volunteers - very valuable to FCS, 7stanes and Tweed Valley • The future - maintaining/progressing the trails. Important role of volunteers. • Linking trail riding with trailbuilding. Trailfairies - an excellent opportunity for informal education Thankyou! Hope you can make it along to the trailbuilding session tomorrow at Glentress

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