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No more forest wars!

By Adam Marsal

Forest traffic is sometimes so busy that hikers and bikers are increasingly jostling for space. Tensions are running high. But there is a man who’s nature-friendly approach became a world-wide standard of sustainable trail building. Read the fantastic story of Dafydd Davis.

”The right trail in the right place, in the right way!” is the Dafydd credo. While many bikers can be accused of damaging the surface of trails by their wheels, Dafydd comes out with the idea of the holistic approach that enables trails to be developed in ways that are truly sustainable in the widest possible sense. ”It is important that this is done in ways that are sympathetic to the landscape, land use, environment and habitat,” Dafydd says on his lectures held through the world.

Photo: Jan Kasl

More fun for bikers, no harm to nature

Dafydd was responsible for the development and management of the UK’s first purpose built mountain bike trails at Coed y Brenin in North Wales. The forest park soon developed a reputation for excellent riding conditions, allowing Davis to approach the new Welsh Assembly and gain funding to develop more riding in Coed Y Brenin, as well as trails in four other Welsh forests.

This was achieved, and in 2002 the International Mountain Bicycling Association announced Wales to be the world’s top mountain biking destination. Dafydd was also responsible for developing and refining the ‘Trail Centre’ model, which is now prevalent throughout the UK and elsewhere. The trails have minimal effects on the countryside but even though can be extremely enjoyable. Watch how the original Dafydd’s trails were tested by world cup winning members of the Atherthon’s family.


Twenty years of experience

As a climber, expert mountain biker and fell runner, he is more aware than most of the impact that trails can make upon the landscape. His work is praised by the local riders from many countries, because his standards are now used worldwide.

Photo: Daffyd Davis/Facebook

His understanding of the impacts of trails is based upon nearly 20 years of working in this field. He has worked on projects within the UK and Ireland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Canada, Australia, Japan and Israel ranging from individual trail development projects to the development of policies and strategies for land management organisations.