Gisburn Forest Car Park Is Go

Published on: Feb 25 2012 by Jon Swift

Gisburn Forest Car Park Is Go

GisburnForestSignAfter a rather quiet start to the year news wise things are really picking up for 2012. Funding has been secured for the first phase of development of a small visitor hub at Gisburn Forest. The Hub will be created in the forest near to the Stephen Park outdoor centre and is intended to make visits to the forest more enjoyable and memorable. In line with what many visitors showed support for during a recent online survey (thank you to all of you who responded, the excellent response helped considerably with the funding applications) , the scale of development will be relatively low key. The first phase of work will include the creation of a new car park (100 spaces), 500 metres of multi-user trail, a bike skills training facility with blue, red and black grade features and circa 1500 metres of blue grade cross country bike trail to link the new car park to the existing trails. The development will take place on land that is owned by United Utilities and managed by the Forestry Commission. Funding for this part of the project has been secured from: the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), Ribble Valley Strategic Partnership and the Forestry Commission. The combined funding package is worth a whopping £300,000. Planning permission has been secured for this phase of the project and work is expected to start soon and be ongoing throughout the spring.

Work is also ongoing with the design and fund raising for other hub features; these will include a much requested toilet facility and some work to enhance the wildlife interest of the site. Watch this space for news as the project develops.

Planning permission for the development was passed last summer, some of the plans for this phase of the development are below.

Gisburn Car Park Plans                            

This is a massive boost for Gisburn and is down to the efforts and perseverance of the local forestry team led by Martin Colledge. It also shows how seriously the Forestry Commission is about the trails as they have  injected a significant amount of cash into this project along with the support again from the Ribble Valley Strategic Partnership.

Some disruption is likely on the trails in the short term with closures currently in place on the ‘8’ above the quarry (see the Gisburn Trail Guide for more details) and additional closures next week as detailed below.

Gisburn ClosuresThe gravel access road to Stephen Park is closed to all traffic from Monday 27th February to Friday 2nd March. At short notice the F.C. have agreed to Electricity North West Limited occupying this road for works. They are using large machinery to dig a trench to bury an electricity cable along the whole length of the road. For safety reasons there is no access to this road while work is ongoing. You may wish to delay your visit to the forest. Alternatively it is possible to by-pass this section of forest road by following the tarmac public highway from Cocklet Hill car park to St James chapel. The trail network can be rejoined here. Please respect the closures as we’ll all benefit from them soon enough and they are in place for your safety (one squashed rider will really mess up the timetable for the works 😉

In addition to all this the volunteers are continuing to extend the lower loop on the red trail, starting the next 1/2 kilometre of singletrack on Sunday the 26th of February, to complete the fire road bypass and link the mega swoop into the rest of the trail network. If you want to help us get this section finished have a look at the Gisburn Forest Volunteers page or drop us an email to for more deatails and to be added to the mailing list.

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