Castle Ward Multi Purpose Trails

Dafydd revisited Castle Ward on Tuesday evening to have a look at the multi use trails that were put in just over a year ago that were designed by Dafydd.

Castleward is a very special place in landscape terms and it was very important that the trails fit in with the landscape in every sense. The trails that were put in were designed to appear like thay had always been part of the estate and are open to a range of uses including equestrains, walkers, cyclists and the less able.

He was very pleased with the trails and we think the pictures speak for themselves:

 This photo shows the multi-use trail along the property boundary. This was designed to make it invisible from particular parts of the estate and to be very soft on the landscape.

This photo shows the Category 3 trail in the Woods which has really blended in well in a very short time.

As always the key issue that underpinned Dafydd's design work here was sustainability, and a year on they have proven to be very popular with trail users and sustainable in every sense.

This Week at Rostrevor

Following another week of site supervision at Rostrevor, here are couple more photo's to keep you updated with progress at the site:

 The above photo shows Section 5 on the Rostrevor mountain bike trails. This is a long climb and has been designed to allow for a nice steady ascent.

This photo shows the same section near the Cloughmore stone in the open ground. The idea with this one is to try and minimise the visual impact in this sensitive area. Note the landscaping and trail demarcation here.

As stated previously, it is very important that no members of the public use these trails either on foot or bike before the construction of the whole trail system is completed.

We shall continue to keep you updated with progress. 

A glimpse of trail building and riding at Jablonec

A film by Petr Slavik featuring Dafydd Davis and the construction of a singletrack trail, Singltreku v Jablonci. Hard to work out what some of these very cheerful looking builders and riders were saying, but they do seem to be having fun!

Dafydd's thoughts on the Rostrevor Project...

Have just got this quote from Dafydd regarding the trails at Rostrevor:
“I’ve been involved in trail planning, design and construction for nearly 20 years all over the world. I’ve worked on high mountains, old quarries, city parks, deserts and even rainforests, but I think the trail construction project in Rostrevor is probably the most challenging I have worked on to date.

The combination of steep side slopes, very variable ground conditions, dense woodlands and high, exposed ridges, coupled with very difficult access makes trail construction particularly difficult.

Add to this the fact that Rostrevor is within the Mournes AONB where there are particular landscape and habitat sensitivities, further complicates how sustainable trails can be delivered.

It is really important that the trails in Rostrevor be built in appropriate and sensitive ways, which reduce their impact on the landscape and habitat. This is particularly the case given the value of Rostrevor Forest as a recreational resource for the whole community.

The development of very prescriptive construction plans has allowed us to make sure that the trails add value to Rostrevor by making sure that they are built in the most appropriate and sensitive ways.”


This is Section 4 - which is mostly a climbing section - the guys have done a great job here and have had minimal impact, within 6 months or so, this will feel almost like a "natural" trail

This is Section 4 again - a long, steady climb - the ground here was particularly bad, either deep waterlogged peat or big rocks

This is Section 4 again - one of the short sections of slightly  descending trail - it's difficult to make out in this picture, but this trail is quite featured with little step downs and grade reversals, adding interest to what is mostly a long climb

This is the end of Section 4, where it joins the Cloughmore path -  again, a gradual climb and the Euroservices guys have done a great job of minimizing the visual and physical impact of the trail

This is the first part of Section 5 - there were initial concerns about this new trail being visually intrusive from the Cloughmore car park, however as can be seen from the picture, it's visual impact is negligible - this picture was taken not more than 4 hours after the section was started

This is Section 21 - which will be the last bit of trail leading back to the car park at the end of the big cross country loop - the idea with this section is to make a twisty low speed connection back to the car park - again Euroservices have come up trumps!!

(So where did you drop it???)

More of Section 5


Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trail Construction, Northern Ireland

 I'm involved with Dafydd's work on the administration side of things ...we're all really excited about the work that's taking place at Rostrevor Forest Park in Northern Ireland.

It's been a very long planning and design process, but finally the construction has begun and the trails on the ground are looking brilliant. The contractors, Euroservices  are using Dafydd's prescriptive plans, which will result in sustainable trails which are integrated into the landscape and will  be great fun to ride.

The designs contain approximately 23km of cross country trails and 4km of dedicated, uplift served downhill trails.

Euroservices are doing a great job of interpreting Dafydd's designs, and Dafydd is providing site supervision throughout the work. We'll keep you posted with updates and pics.

by Michelle Jones, Trails by Dafydd Davis

Singltrek pod Smrkem - riding into a national standard

The video here was produced recently to illustrate just what it is like to ride the Singltrek pod Smrkem, a large network of over 67km of variable grade trails designed by Dafydd Davis and situated near the border between the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. What makes singltrek trails different is the detailed and proven approach to their planning, design, and construction. This gives them their unique qualities - they are fun to ride, yet sustainable, safe, and considerate of the natural environment.

Singltrek trails accommodate riders of all abilities - not only expert riders - so that mountain biking is accesible to a wider range of people. Singltrek is not just a trail - it is an authentic experience. Singltrek is based on a long lasting relationship between the landscape and its users, not just mountain bikers, providing a very real outdoor recreational resource.

Singltrek pod Smrkem is among the seven top World’s Model MTB Destinations...
In November 2011 IMBA announced the list of global MTB destinations chosen to serve as models and awarded them its IMBA Ride Centre status. Among 7 of the places - and the only one lying outside of the US - is Singltrek pod Smrkem. The prestigeous Ride Centre label means that the trail is to become globally known and visited by mountain bikers from all over the world. Singltrek pod Smrkem is the first "purpose built" trail system in contintenal Europe. It is inspired by the trend of Welsh, Scottish and Irish "trail centres" designed wholly for mountain bikers’ enjoyment.

 "This is the future of mountain biking"  (Hans Rey, former trials riding world champion)

Link to a schematic of the system

photo courtesy Singltrek pod Smrkem

The New Trails Website!

The new web site is up and running. It's a place where you can find information about my  trail design, planning and development services, see photos of some finished projects, read insights about my trails philosophy (sustainable, sustainable, sustainable...) find out what other people are saying about me and get to know my hard-working, dedicated crew.

Over time we will add links, photos and more resources to the site, so be sure to check back here and find out what's new in the fast-growing, fascinating world of trails development.