National Trust to organise bicycle rides and events from its properties

The National Trust has announced a major shift in its focus as it aims to help more people enjoy to outdoors and get closer to nature by focusing on cycling as well as walking and camping.

The charity will promote a range of activities that take place on the land it looks after, including walking, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing and camping, with over a thousand summer events aimed at helping children get closer to nature.

Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust, said: “For too long it’s felt that outdoor spaces have been the Trust’s best kept secret. We want to play our part in helping to reconnect the nation with outdoor spaces, whether in the Lake District or a local park.

“Over 100 years ago one of the Trust’s founders, Octavia Hill, argued that quiet, air and exercise, together with the sight of sky and growing things, were human needs common to all people.

“Over a century later we still don’t seem to value enough the physical and spiritual refreshment we get from our surroundings.”

During 2011 the National Trust will organised series of seven cycling challenge rides at Trust places from Pembrokeshire to Cambridgeshire.

In July, the Trust’s first ever cycling festival will take place at more than twenty places throughout the country including an evening community bike ride at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire and a kids’ On Your Bike weekend at Scotney Castle in Kent.

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