Mountain Biking at the Bosley Cloud

The Mayor of Congleton, two members of Congleton Mountain Biking Club in their club outfits and a National Trust ranger stand on the cloud with two mountain bikes

After numerous meetings with local cyclists and considerable thought, we have decided to allow managed mountain biking on the Cloud, provided that the cyclists are members of the newly created Congleton Mountain Biking Club.

The National Trust and Congleton Mountain Biking Club will be working together to create routes on the Cloud which will help to prevent damage and erosion, while allowing people to carry out the outdoor activities they enjoy.  We anticipate that the Club will begin to use the trails from winter 2018.

" “The Congleton Mountain Biking Club and the National Trust have shown that working in partnership can benefit everyone, not just one particular group. For many people cycling is easier than walking and with the limited amount of mountain biking areas there are in Congleton, Bosley Cloud is a perfect place for cyclists to practice what they love, cycling in forests over undulating terrain.” "
- Suzie Akers Smith, Congleton Town Mayor

Why are the National Trust allowing mountain biking on the Cloud?

Despite it not presently being allowed, people have been using mountain bikes on the Cloud for a number of years in an unmanaged way which was causing damage and erosion to the upland and lowland heath. After lengthy discussions we feel that entering into a partnership with a club that will be enjoying their cycling responsibly is the best way to tackle this issue.

The National Trust and Congleton Mountain Biking Club will be working together to create routes on the Cloud which will help to prevent damage and erosion while allowing people to carry out the outdoor activities they enjoy. The National Trust wants to encourage people to access the outdoors and diverse groups of users to feel that the countryside is relevant and important to them.

Congleton Mountain Biking Club have signed an agreed licence with the National Trust and have committed to an agreed Code of Conduct and Trail Etiquette and will be creating working groups to volunteer with our ranger team on conservation work on the Cloud. We have a similar licencing agreement with Congleton Harriers running club, which allows runners to access and enjoy the Cloud.

Will this be dangerous to me as a walker?

The new mountain biking routes will be clearly marked both on signs at access points to the site and also where a mountain biking route crosses a pedestrian route. Members of Congleton Mountain Biking Club will reduce speed/stop and give way to walkers at all times.

The mountain biking routes will be designed by the National Trust and Congleton Mountain Biking Club to deliberately slow riders down as they reach pedestrian areas and the members of the Club have committed to an agreed Code of Conduct and Trail Etiquette.

Having a licenced mountain biking club on designed routes with an agreed code of conduct is safer for walkers than having unmanaged cyclists on the hill using the footpaths. Members of the Club are local and so will cycle to the Cloud, meaning we anticipate no increase in traffic.

Is this good use of a charities money? Is this a good use of the Rangers and volunteers time?

As part of the licence agreement, Congleton Mountain Biking Club have committed to an agreed number of volunteering hours to help maintain the routes and to work on other conservation priorities at the Cloud.

Our rangers and volunteers work hard daily to allow all visitors to access our outdoor spaces and the National Trust wants people to enjoy accessing the outdoors and encourage diverse groups to feel that the countryside is relevant and important to them.

Giving people access to the outdoors is a core principle of the National Trust and in creating managed mountain bike trails with Congleton Mountain Biking Club we are fulfilling our commitment to both conserve the site by removing the erosion and damage caused by unmanaged mountain biking and to increase access for people to enjoy our outdoor spaces.

How do I know if a cyclist is a member of Congleton Mountain Biking Club?

Members of Congleton Mountain Biking Club will wear display on their helmets a printed colour-coded 'In Case of Emergency' (ICE) sticker placed on the rear of their helmet and each year of membership will have a different colour sticker which identifies them as a member of the Club.

The 2019 colours will be displayed here once the track is open.

If you feel that a member of Congleton Mountain Biking Club on the Cloud has put you at risk or that someone who is not a member of Congleton Mountain Biking Club is using the trails on the Cloud please contact the Cheshire Countryside team on 01625 584412 or via email with an image if possible at Cheshirecountryside@nationaltrust.org.uk

I live locally to the Cloud and enjoy mountain bike riding, how do I join Congleton Mountain Biking Club?

If you live locally to the Cloud and are interested in joining the Club, in order to access the Cloud with your mountain bike, please contact cmtbclub@gmail.com

Or on Facebook “Congleton MTB”