Margaret River shire hopes education will slam the brakes on illegal mountain bike trails

Young riders gather in Margaret River for a workshop on mountain bike trail-building (ABC South West WA: Jackson Worthington)

Young people in the south-west of Western Australia have had the opportunity to learn how to build real mountain bike trails with one shire hoping education can put the brakes on an increase in the building of illegal trails.

On Friday, about twenty young people gathered in Margaret River for a workshop on mountain bike trail building.

The workshop was the result of a joint shire and industry effort to educate young people about why they should not be building illegal trails.

Augusta Margaret River shire community development officer Katie Taylor said with the increased popularity of mountain biking, illegal trail building had become a bigger problem.

Ms Taylor hopes with the correct education young people will stop building in environmental reserves and multi-use areas.

"The workshop [on Friday] was to chat to kids about the appropriate places that we build trails, the reasons behind it [and] planning that goes into it," she said.

"If [the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions] need to remove trails and rehabilitate the area then the money that is spent on doing that doesn't go into building new and exciting mountain bike trails."

John Dingy wants to educate young people on why they should not build tracks in environmental reserves (ABC South West WA: Jackson Worthington)

Professional trail-builder John Dingy, who ran the workshop, said it was great to see the shire taking a proactive education-based approach to the issue.

"We just can't have it that's all there is too it," Mr Dingy said.

Fifteen-year-old Alyssa Holland attended the workshop because she loves racing.

"I'm a rider and a racer … I really enjoy learning how to create the trails so that I can create the trails that I love to ride," she said.

The workshop helped Alyssa Holland realise building trails could be a viable career. (ABC South West WA: Jackson Worthington)

Ms Holland said the workshop helped her realise building trails could be a viable career – a sentiment echoed by 14-year-old Justin Weiss who said the seminar taught him how and where to build properly.

"[We learnt] where you want to put your green runs, your blue runs and your black runs for better quality," he said.

Mr Dingy said he hopes the workshop taught the kids about where not to build their trails.

"It was a problem and just hitting them over the head doesn't do anything … it is good they came up with this and I think it is pretty successful," he said.


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