DIRTT Project

Developing Intereuropean Resources for Trail building Training

The DIRTT project (Developing Intereuropean Resources for Trailbuilder Training) springs from the core of Europe’s mountain bike enthusiasts, volunteers and professionals centered around the European branch of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA Europe). The aim is to develop trail building guidelines with an educational framework addressing the needs of professionals and volunteers in the sectors of trail planning, design, construction, maintenance and management.

The partners in the project are from a number of backgrounds including; advocacy organisations, sports associations, governmental- and educational institutions, tourism, as well as private enterprises in the sector. The countries involved are Switzerland, Portugal, Scotland, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.

The three year project is coordinated by Fagskolen Tinius Olsen, a college of higher vocational education in Norway.  

Partner organisations:

  • Fagskolen Tinius Olsen - Norway
  • International Mountain Bike Association Europe – Netherlands
  • Scottish Cyclists Union / DMBinS - Scotland
  • Edinburgh Napier University - Scotland
  • BikePlan - Switzerland
  • DGI - Denmark
  • Município de Águeda - Portugal
  • Opplysningskontoret for Terrengsykling - Norway

The project has been granted €387,731 through the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme. The project will be coordinated by Fagskolen Tinius Olsen, a college of higher vocational education in Norway. The three year project aims to develop an educational framework and a professional training program for mountain bike trail builders.

Development stages of the project 

The official announcement and kick-off meeting of the project took place at the Trail Building Summit in Zermatt, September 2019. 

As part of the second work package, a MTB trail sector survey has been executed by Napier Edinburgh University to define the training needs of various stakeholders and identify possible skills & knowledge gaps. In total, 121 survey respondents (representing organisations that operate in the domain of trail planning, design, construction and management) from 16 different European countries provided data suitable for inclusion in this project. The main findings of this report are that there is clear demand within the mountain bike trail sector for certified training, and that particular priority is based on the construction and maintenance sectors. Key themes for training requirements included but were not limited to sustainability, safety, drainage, and documentation. The final report will be expected in June

  • Defining needs from stakeholders relating to planning construction and management of MTB trails
  • Develop and define the ‘Educational framework’ version 1.0
  • Develop content of the educational framework version 1.0
  • Train key personal at the partnering institution in the educational framework
  • Update the educational framework into version 2.0
  • Dissemination of project results

The next meeting of the DIRTT project (EU reference group) was planned at the European MTB Summit in Swieradow-Zdor, Poland, 22-24 of May 2020.  Due to COVID-19, this event had to be cancelled. An online meeting, hosted by IMBA Europe, took place in July. Key findings of the trail sector survey (training needs and identified skill gaps) and rider (consumer) survey were presented.