Pan-European edition
31 March 2017, 22:00 to 01 April 2017, 22:00

Take Care of your Trails Weekend

Take Care of your Trails Weekend is a nationwide, coordinated weekend of volunteer-based trail maintenance events happening across Europe.

1. What is it?

Take Care of your Trails Weekend is a nationwide, coordinated weekend of volunteer-based trail maintenance events happening across Europe, on the weekend of Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd April 2017. The aim of the campaign is to highlight the quality and quantity of trail repair work that is happening across European mountain biking and to get more people involved in helping out with the maintenance of their local trails. We are looking for organisers of existing trail maintenance groups to sign up to run a trail maintenance event on one or both days over the weekend.

It will be the first ever pan-European coordinated weekend of volunteer-based trail maintenance events. It will be centrally co-ordinated by IMBA Europe who will collate each countries results at the end of the weekend. The weekend is based on a successful plot running for 2 years in Scotland by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS). The 2016 edition had 18 groups and 154 volunteers participating across Scotland. Volunteers of all ages and abilities will hit their local trails to take part in the event. The winning country will be presented at the IMBA Europe 2017 Summit in Agueda (Portugal), 7-9 April.

The locations that worked the most effectively were the trails and routes which were most regularly used by mountain bikers or had an established trail repair groups. The locations which were hoping for the campaign to provide all the volunteers and were on routes not regularly used by mountain bikers were less successful. In some cases these groups received no volunteers.

2. What does our group need to offer?

We’ve developed some basic event guidelines in order for your event to qualify to be included in the campaign:

  • The event needs to be either hosted by the landowner or you should have prior permission from the landowner to undertake your trail repair session.
  • You should ensure that you have the necessary insurance in place to run your event. Please take notice that rules / obligations can differ per country.
  • You should ensure that you have an appropriately experienced or qualified leader for your event.
  • You should ensure that you have sufficient leaders based on the size of your group. We would recommend a 1:6 ratio for any work which is requiring use of hand-tools.
  • You should ensure that you have adequate First Aid provision to meet the needs of the group and work location.
  • You should ensure that you complete a volunteer sign-in sheet prior to commencing work. This should include names and emergency contact numbers.
  • You should ensure that volunteers are adequately briefed prior to the event and adequately supervised during the event.
  • You should ensure that you have a range of tasks planned to suit the ages and experience levels of your group e.g. litter picking for those without experience or appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • If you are running a session which is offered to children or young people (under 18) your group should have the necessary child protection measures in place or be clear that any children or young people who wish to attend will need to be accompanied by a supervising responsible adult.

3. How does our group sign up to take part?

All you need to do to register your event is click this link and register online or download this file and return it to info@imba-europe.nl or info@dmbins.com (if you're a Scottish group). It's a simple form, detailing which days you are taking part and what you are planning to do, Please sign up Monday 6th February 2017 latest. Groups responding after this date will still be included but will miss the benefit of being part of the launch.

4. What happens after we register?

Your event will be added to the ‘Take Care of Your Trails’ section of the IMBA Europe (& DMBinS if a Scottish group) website, along with your contact details for volunteers to register directly with you. Before the weekend we’ll also send you editable posters, details of any prizes which volunteers can win and volunteer sign-up sheets.

The campaign will go live week beginning Wednesday 8th February 2017 and volunteers can start signing up for your event from this date.  We’ll arrange a series of press releases detailing all events taking place as part of the campaign and we’ll create a Facebook Event Page for the weekend as a whole.

We hope to mirror the success of the 2016 campaign by bringing in industry partners to offer prizes and to help promote to mountain bikers. We recommend that you manage local promotion and promote your event to your existing volunteers & through your social media channels.

5. What will happen after the event?

We’ll arrange press coverage after the event too. We’ll also send you a short questionnaire to get feedback on how things went and what could be improved. To build on the momentum of the weekend we would recommend that you set up an itinerary of follow-up events which we would be happy to promote.  We’ll be in touch to discuss future events and to find out what could be possible with additional support for your volunteer group.