A NEW trail to allow mountain bikers to ride on the Malvern Hills without causing damage has been unveiled.

The Malverns by Mountain Bike project was created by the Malvern Hills Trust, the charity that looks after the Malvern Hills, to encourage responsible riding.

Starting at North Quarry car park, the circular route follows bridleways and permissive paths on the hills that are open to mountain bikers.

The route is signposted for visiting cyclists unfamiliar with the hills’ cycling access network.

Beck Baker, community and conservation officer, said: “We know that we have a large number of visiting cyclists from surrounding areas including Worcester and Birmingham who may not know anything about the access arrangements on the Malvern Hills or the special features here that need protecting.

“Those who are new to the area will be able to experience and enjoy riding in this amazing landscape along the signposted trails.”

The route has been carefully designed with the help of the local cyclists, the trust’s own recreation advisory panel, Natural England and Worcestershire County Council.

Although the trails are not graded and there may be some tougher climbs, the routes are intended for leisurely rides.

Cyclists wishing to ride single track or try downhill riding should visit other locations, such as the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre.

A route card for the trail is available from the trust’s office in Grange Road, Malvern, tourist information centres, local cycling shops or by visiting malvernhills.org.uk/visiting/cycling.