26th April 2019 Landscape
The Forestry Commission has joined forces with one of the UK’s leading learn-to-cycle programmes to celebrate its 100th birthday, by encouraging more families to explore the country’s forests by bike.
Balanceability, which is run by TTC Group, will be hosting eight one-hour taster sessions at Salcey Forest in Northamptonshire on May 27th and May 30th, to show young children and parents how balance bikes can develop core strengths, motor skills and get them active.
The sessions will cost £9 and take place at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm for a maximum of ten children, aged between two-and-a-half and seven years old, per group, with a qualified Balanceability instructor and specialist bikes and safety equipment available for all participants. Bookings can be made in advance on the Forestry Commission website or families can turn up on the day to take part.
“Salcey Forest has been keen to offer cycling for younger children for some time, as it already boasts an easy family cycling trail that is ideal for exploring nature,” explained Brittany Eagle, sales manager at Balanceability. “Balance bikes are a great way to help kids who can’t cycle yet and our instructors are trained to make the sessions as fun as possible, with easy to follow techniques and a chance to put what they learn into action.
“Learning to cycle is a proven way of getting young people more active and helping them develop skills they can use throughout their lives. Our forests are safe and great places to discover and we’re hoping that this major birthday will be the start of more children riding bikes as a way of getting around all the different trails. If this trial is successful, we’d like to think we could offer more courses later in the year and are keen to work with other forests who want to get more of their visitors cycling.”
Simon Fowler, forest centre manager at Forestry England, said: “We are very excited to be working with Balanceability at Salcey Forest. Cycling is a big area of interest for us, as we know only too well the boost it can provide for people looking to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle.
“The sessions are unique as they give children the opportunity to develop the essential skills needed to learn to ride and support the next generation of cyclists that will enjoy the nation’s forests.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that nearly 1,000 primary school pupils across Flintshire are set to benefit as part of a scheme designed to deliver learn-to-cycle training, with nine schools from across Deeside, Flint and Mold signed up to the ‘Balanaceability’ programme.