Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has started work to build a new mountain bike trail at its award-winning visitor centre in Mid-Wales.
Bwlch Nant yr Arian, near Aberystwyth, attracts around 140,000 visitors a year who come to enjoy a variety of trails for walking, mountain biking, running, orienteering and horse-riding.
But this new 9-kilometre trail is the first of its kind in the area because it’s specifically designed for beginners who want to try mountain biking for the first time.
Sarah Parry, Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre Manager, Natural Resources Wales, said:
“We’re proud to look after such a special site where people can get active, get healthy and enjoy the outdoors.
“This new ‘Blue Grade’ trail is designed for riders of all ages with basic skills, making it a great stepping stone before tackling some of the larger and more challenging routes we have here if they want to.
“We hope it will be finished by the end of August, but this will of course be weather dependant.
“This will be a great addition to all the other facilities we provide in this spectacular setting, attracting new riders and supporting the local economy.”
The route will include some technical features such as small jumps, switch backs (a trail turn that with steep inclines) and drop offs (small step downs on the trail).
It is the latest addition to the wide range of world-class facilities which NRW provides for mountain bikers in all parts of Wales.
“There are some trail closures and diversion in place while the trail is being built – these will be signposted on site and advertised on our website.
“We ask all our visitors to follow these, not only for safety reasons, but to make sure our contractors can complete the work on time.”
Bwlch Nant yr Arian is also a fantastic place for wildlife - well known as a red kite feeding station where up to 150 kites are fed by the lake every day, providing a spectacular display.
Several other birds, such as goosanders, little grebes and Canada geese can also be spotted around the lake.
The funding has been made available through the Tourism Amenity Investment Support scheme (TAIS), aimed at public, third sector and not for profit organisations for investment targeting small scale infrastructure (visitor amenity) projects in the tourism sector in Wales.
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
NRW is also carrying out works to replace and expand the decking around the visitor centre.
People can keep up to date with the latest news from Bwlch Nant yr Arian by following their Facebook page or visiting NaturalResources.Wales/BwlchNantyrArian.