A NEW multi-user trail aimed at people with mobility issues, as well as parents and young children, is opening in Dalby Forest.

The Forestry Commission and the Cyclists’ Touring Club have teamed up to provide the Ellerburn Trail to cater for about 31,500 of the annual visitors who have mobility issues and their families.

Running alongside Ellerburn Beck, the pathway is aimed at disabled cyclists, walkers, and wheelchair users, as well as being a safe and accessible route for children learning to ride a bike and parents with pushchairs.

One new circular route has been constructed, which is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), and the existing Ellerburn route has been enhanced to cater for the more adventurous visitor with mobility issues, but still providing easy access.

The Forestry Commission has worked with a number of partner organisations, including Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC), the Federation for Disability Sport and a range of local community groups to develop the trail.

Funding has been provided by a contribution of £74,950 from Natural England’s Paths for Communities Fund and £25,000 from Yorventure (through funds generated by Yorwaste Ltd) and £25,000 from the Forestry Commission.

The trail will provide opportunities for organisations such as the Malton-based charity Ryedale Special Families, which supports children and young adults with disabilities and their families.

David Brewster, chief officer for Ryedale Special Families, said: “The multi-user trail will provide us with the chance to go on group bike rides. This is something that we cannot manage at the moment, as there is no suitable terrain in the area. We are delighted with the launch of the trail and very much look forward to using it.”

The trail has also been welcomed by Thornton Dale Primary School, which has been actively involved in the planting of the Forest Garden project in the Courtyard at Dalby.

Headteacher Lorna Karetnyk said: “The trail will help our pupils develop their confidence on bikes along the route as well as providing us with the opportunity to carry out educational activities, such as learning the names of edible plants.” and foraging in the forest.”

The official opening of the trail on Sunday will also coincide with the installation of theGruffalo Activity Trail along the route. For more information visit forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo