Cycling strategy

Family of three riding bikes on a forest trail

Forestry England has launched it's first cycling strategy

The strategy sets out how we will develop our cycling offer to meet people’s needs as England’s favourite place to cycle, embracing new opportunities and innovating to meet the needs of a changing society. 

Our Growing the Future: 2021-26 strategy defines our long-term aspirations and it is clear that we need to retain the familiarity so valued by many of our core cycling visitors whilst changing to reflect the needs of wider society.

You can find key information about our cycling strategy on this page or download the full or summary plan at the bottom.

Connect with the nation’s forests and enjoy England’s favourite off-road cycling experiences

Setting the scene

Since the 1990’s we have created an extensive network of cycle trails, providing the broadest range and some of the best off-road routes in England, used for social, recreational, wellbeing reasons, for personal development and for competition. We have brought people and communities together, encouraging them to be active on their bikes.

We have, and continue to, benefit from significant contributions from many passionate communities, cyclists and volunteers whose dedication and support strengthens our offer. We work with a wide range of partners and employ a growing number of specialist recreation and cycle based support staff to create the superb cycling available in the nation’s forests.

Two people standing with bikes looking out over a view from the forest, with blue sky and green foliage
Mountain biking trail landscape
Photo credit: Andy Lloyd

Our cycling plan

Setting a clear direction so we can enhance our cycling offer whilst still maintaining, growing, shaping and caring for the nation’s forests, this plan will shape and influence our cycling facilities to meet people’s needs as England’s favourite place to cycle.

This plan aims to increase cycling activity to help address health and well-being inequalities, overcome access barriers and creating lasting behaviour change, meet government agendas as well as providing for existing visitors. We will embrace new opportunities and innovate to meet the needs of a changing society over the next five years.

Our approach

Developing high quality, cost effective experiences through offering variety and accessibility to a wider audience, we recognise that e-bikes are likely to play a large part in peoples choices. 

Our sustainable approach, meeting our wider organisational strategy Growing the Future, will deliver for people, for wildlife and for climate.

two cyclists in the forest with a foxglove in the foreground


We have identified four themes to shape what we do and measure our success:

1. Priority audiences 

To continue to be and to strengthen our position as the leading provider of off-road cycling experiences.

2. Communities

To broaden our offer to meet the needs of a diverse audience; for our measurable visitor demographics to better reflect the communities that the nations forests serve.

3. Partnerships

 To create new and strengthen existing partnerships with national and local organisations to enhance understanding, value, health and wellbeing, and to benefit local economies.

4. Sustainability and currency

To maintain high quality provision; to identify and fill gaps in our knowledge; to make innovative and bold evidence based decisions that ensure our cycling offer helps meet the needs of new and existing visitors, our staff, volunteers, local communities and society overall.

Whether just starting out, making the most of your time or enjoying the stops along the way, join us on the journey

Where to go from here

Two women on mountain bikes on a gravel track surrounded by summer foliage

Find your perfect ride, from gentle family routes to adrenaline-fueled downhill MTB.

Two men ride mountain bikes down a trail through Cannock Chase Forest

Read our cycling safety tips and plan your ride through the forest.

man and woman smiling in  forest on a sunny winter day

Enjoy a visit to the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre to learn how mountain bike trails are built.

Sunlight shining through trees

We grow forests for all, for life. Explore our five year plan.