The popularity of mountain biking is booming across the world, amplifying the need for more trails and skilled trail builders to plan, design, construct and maintain sustainable trail infrastructure across Europe. This was the impetus for the DIRTT (Developing Intereuropean Resources for Trail builder Training) project in 2019, started by IMBA Europe and an international project group representing both volunteer and professional trail builders, education providers, municipalities and tourist destinations. In the first project phase DIRTT developed a mountain bike trail educational framework and study programme, leading to Europe’s first formal education for Mountain Bike Trail Planning, Construction and Maintenance at Fagskolen I Viken. The program was launched in September 2022 with a total of 25 students from 12 different countries.
To view all resources & deliverables of the 1st DIRTT project, use the form below to request the password for the DIRTT Knowledge Hub.
“Yet, with the massive growth in trail building also comes increased responsibility.``
“We realize that maintaining the status quo might feel like the most convenient alternative for some. Yet, with the massive growth in trail building also comes increased responsibility. The certification project is a golden opportunity for the sector to shape the profile and position of professional trail building in the future.” – Lars W. Jensen, DIRTT Project Manager
DEVELOPING A EUROPEAN WIDE MTB TRAIL BUILDER CERTIFICATION FRAMEWORK
Mountain biking (MTB) activities enjoy growing attention and more participants are taking up the activity. Thus, the need for trails is growing, and local initiatives are increasingly present. In Norway an estimated 50 M€ is invested in trails and bike parks to date (source: Innovation Norway). Many of the actors in the field lacks necessary competence for constructing and building trails in a sustainable manor, the result may end in non-reversible damage to the nature. The DIRTT 2.0 project is intended to mitigate this risk through a series of actions building on the first DIRTT project aimed at tackling the trail builder’s skills gap, especially in building sustainable and inclusive MTB trails. The project will develop systems for promoting competencies needed to make the mountain biking sector capable to plan and build facilities in a sustainable manner that protects the environment in vulnerable areas of our common nature.
A central finding in the first DIRTT project is a high degree of awareness in the sector towards building sustainable recreational infrastructure, which include people with fever opportunities in the field of sports and activity such as people with disabilities. This is an aspect that DIRTT 2.0 aims to reinforce by integrating learning outcomes regarding this in the European competence framework for mountain bike trail building and collecting examples of best practice to use in the trail builder education.