About the fairies

The Glentress Trailfairies are a group of volunteers who help develop and maintain trails at Glentress forest, in the Scottish Borders.

When - 2014 Session Dates

Sat 25th Jan
Sat 8th Feb; Sat 22nd Feb
Sat 8th Mar; Sat 29th Mar
Sat 12th Apr; Sat 26th Apr
Sat 10th May
Sat 28th Jun
Sat 26th Jul
Sat 30th Aug
Sat 27th Sep
Sat 25th Oct
Sat 29th Nov

As per the last couple of years the sessions will be full day affairs (9am - 4pm). 14 sessions are scheduled for 2014 - attend 4 sessions to qualify for a complementary 2015 parking permit.

We meet up at 9am at the tool shed in the Upper Overflow car park at Glentress (formerly the Osprey car park).

The fairies offers a chance to give something back to the trails, give them some lovin' if you will, help maintain, improve and progress what Glentress has to offer and have some fun whilst doing it. Ride what you've helped build/maintain - it's a satisfying thing. Plus it offers a good work out (beats the gym) and you get to have a say on what gets built.

Hand built trail is what the fairies do best. The beauty of building singletrack by hand is that a trail can be built tighter through the trees than a digger-built trail, whilst still retaining really good flow. Features such as roots and rocks can also be more easily preserved and incorporated. Add a sustainable surface to this and you get a trail that can handle lots of riders but also retains more of an old school, natural feel - the best of both worlds! The Pie Run, Mushroom Pie and Zoom or Bust were all created by the fairies.

The Trailfairies is a Forestry Commission Scotland led group, meaning all you have to do is worry about turning up on the right day. Andy Wardman (FCS MTB Ranger) organises the sessions and plans the work we'll be doing but is always very open to suggestions. Indeed, some of the best ideas for trails and features come at fairy sessions.

New volunteers are always most welcome and no previous experience of trailbuilding is needed. All you need to bring along is kit suitable for working outside (bring waterproofs and it won't rain!), sturdy boots and some refreshments. We provide the rest - tools, gloves, glasses, hi vis jackets and we'll show you and help you develop the techniques involved.

No pre booking is required to come volunteering - just turn up on the day and say hello! You'll be made very welcome, especially if you happen to bring some cake along! The first time along we have a quick form to fill out and Trailfairy info sheet and risk assessment to peruse. For U18's we need your parent/guardian to go through the sign up form with you (bring them along first time you come). U12's - you'll need to bring your parent/guardian along to the session to accompany you. If attending for the full day volunteers will need to bring along their own lunch and refreshments. Alternatively a half day session may suit better.

Trailbuilding work can be quite hard going but there's always different tasks to be done - feeling particularly energetic? Some digging might be just the thing. Looking for something a little more easy going? Branch pruning or trail fettling might be more up your street. And the Trailfairies aint no chaingang - work as hard or as easy as you like. Can't make a whole session? No problem, even a little bit of help makes a difference as is very much appreciated. 10 - 25 volunteers normally attend each session - with this many hands an impressive amount of work (and cake consumption) can often be achieved.

If you'd like to find out more about the Trailfairies please contact Andy Wardman at andy.wardman@forestry.gsi.gov.uk or 07900 138901.