Trail Advocacy: Barrowers Needed! - Pedal Progression


9 November 2018

Trail Advocacy: Barrowers Needed!

Last week, the Ashton Court Trail Consultation Group met for our first ever meeting. One of the most important things we discussed, was how best to spend the money we have collected over the past couple of months. We came to an agreement and… The diggers are coming! We need a little more money and the more volunteers we can get, the better the trails will be – We need 100 volunteers! Read on to see how you can get involved…

Which Bit Of Trail Is Getting Treatment Next?

Having previously walked the trail with Tom from Architrail, a number of key areas for maintenance were identified, including all of the ‘Beggar Bush Lane’ section of the Nova trail. The main consideration when deciding which areas to prioritise was accessibility for the diggers and dumpers. Much of that section is a no go zone in the depths of Winter due to the grass access areas becoming boggy. The diggers would end up tearing up that land which for obvious reasons, the Council wouldn’t be too pleased with.

We’ve worked out an audacious plan with Architrail that will mean we can get two sections of trail reinvented, reworked and resurfaced before Christmas! These areas are shown in pink on the map below. Keep reading for the plan and how you can get involved.


As I write this, we have just over £4000 in the trail donations pot. Architrail have costed the work at a little under £5000. This cost is for their labour and for the hire of all the various machines needed, namely diggers, dumpers and fuel. Generously, Architrail are giving us their time at cost price. You may have read previously, we’ve secured 100 tonnes of free stone from Tarmac, so we won’t need to pay for that. We will however still need to purchase dust, which is the finishing top surface of the trail. If you use the trails and would like to donate, please click here. All donations welcome.

How Can I Get Involved?

We need volunteers to barrow stone! This is really important! Here’s why… The trails are going to be resurfaced regardless of if we get any volunteers – Architrail are booked. At the minute, the trails we’re going to work on are almost flat due to the erosion they have faced. We have the opportunity to barrow stone onto those flatter areas, to build cool features and create more flow. If this isn’t done, these sections of trail will be resurfaced in their present condition. That means, they will run better and be safer than they are now BUT they will miss out on the treatment we’ve given other sections of the Nova.

The first section of the Nova that we worked on in July has been a massive hit. Rider feedback has been awesome and GNBN have used it for various videos so we’ll take that as a compliment! We had 40 volunteers a day to make that possible and we’re going to need similar numbers if we’re going to pull the work off this Winter. We think we’ll need 100 volunteers over the 6 days.

The Schedule

Here’s how it’s gonna work. Volunteer days are highlighted in red:


Mon 26th  – Architrail arrive with diggers and begin to scratch the trail surface on section 1.

Tues 27th – Architrail continue to work on section 1.

Weds 28th – Architrail scratch up section 2 & volunteers begin to barrow stone on section 1.

Thurs 29th – Architrail finish scratching section 2 & volunteers barrow last of stone on section 1.

Fri 30th – Architrail back to whacker section 1 & volunteers barrow stone on section 2.


Sat 1st – Rest day

Sun 2nd – Rest day

Mon 3rd – Architrail dust section 1 with the trail volunteers (volunteers barrow the dust)

Tues 4th – Volunteers barrow stone on section 2 & Architrail shape and approve section 2

Weds 5th – Architrail dust section 2 with the trail volunteers (volunteers barrow the dust)

Thurs 6th – The Pedal Progression Christmas PartyCome and be merry & celebrate with us!

We plan to start barrowing at 10am each day but can begin earlier if an early start is convenient for people. The days are obviously much shorter than they were when we did this in July, so we plan to barrow under torch light from dusk through till 7pm. If you’d like to join us, please contact Chris who is a member of the Ashton Court Trail Consultation Group and is voluntarily going to be managing the barrow team. You can email him

Final Words

We know that this is an audacious plan but if people are willing, we can pull it off and have two awesome new trail sections ready for Christmas! Wouldn’t that be a great Christmas gift to the Bristol MTB community!? Please, find time and get stuck in.

Please share this on your social platforms too, so that we can get as many volunteers as is possible. Many hands make light work.

Thank you,

Matt, Sam & Ollie

Pedal Progression


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