Firm seeks bike trail partner

Capita Symonds is looking to go tandem with contractors across three rugged, meandering mountain bike trails.

The multidisciplinary firm's countryside management team will design and build two trails in Devon and one in Bristol. Designers will work with well-known mountain bike trail designer Phil Saxena and bike trail builder Dinsdale Moorland Services.

They will have to overcome ecological and landscape hurdles including a special area of conservation site and graded landscape designations. Capita Symonds, which recently won planning permission, expects the first track to open next autumn.

One of the projects is for a skills park and trail near Exeter. Haldon Forest Park visitor centre will blend ramps and jumps into landscape features to ensure strong visual appeal.

The second project will roll out an off-road cycling site and trail assessment for the National Trust's Plymbridge Valley site on the outskirts of Plymouth. It will involve the design of approximately 16km of trails in a sensitive landscape as well as specialist zones along the trail.

Capita Symonds is also working on an off-road cycle track in woodland for Bristol City Council's historic Ashton Court estate. More than 12km of trails and a skills park will be surrounded by facilities for 80,000 visitors in its first year.

James Daplyn, countryside manager at Capita Symonds, said the firm aimed to start the tender process in January and wanted landscape contractors for clearance. "We want a team to clear a 5m-wide corridor sensitively through designated landscapes with marginal disturbance to what's already there," he explained. for more contract news.

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