Bike trails to open at Osterley Park thanks to LMCT grant

Funding from The London Marathon Charitable Trust has helped the National Trust start work on new cycle trails and a bike skills area at the historic Osterley Park in west London.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust has awarded the project £150,000 towards the multi-purpose trails and cycle skills area as part of its long term commitment to capital projects which inspire local communities to get active and take part in sport and exercise.

The new pathways, which are due to complete in May, will create a safe environment for year round usage, increase public access and provide opportunities to explore the park more widely than is currently possible.

The project also presents an opportunity to enhance the experience of other existing groups of users including runners, dog walkers and horse riders. Drainage will also be improved on existing sections of the track so that potholes are less likely to form and the surface is suitable for all types of bikes, including adapted wheelchairs and children's bikes.

Nicola Briggs, Regional Director for the National Trust in London and the South East said: “We are delighted to receive this substantial support from The London Marathon Charitable Trust. This generous funding for a multi-purpose trail network and cycle skills area will enable us to introduce more people to cycling, supporting them to get active in Osterley’s beautiful historic parkland.

“The grant allows us to expand our work with local partners and to introduce the opportunity that this presents to groups in Hounslow who have who don’t currently exercise regularly. It will encourage people to change from doing no activity at all to some activity and significantly improve health. These vital benefits will be further enhanced by the breath-taking landscape views and abundance of wildlife and nature in Osterley’s outdoor space.

We want to thank The London Marathon Charitable Trust for helping Osterley Park become a safe and secure cycling destination for both local residents and the wider community.”

Sarah Ridley, Chief Grants Officer of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: “More than 30 per cent of adults in Greater London do less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a week and this has ongoing implications for physical and mental health.

“Our grants programmes are aimed at supporting projects that help get people of all ages and abilities off the couch and participating in a wide range of sports and physical activities. We are delighted to support this innovative project to encourage more people to us the wonderful grounds at Osterley for physical activities and thereby enhancing their physical and mental wellbeing.”

The trails at Osterley Park and House are part of a national £4.25million initiative by the National Trust and Sport England to deliver 10 cycling trails across the country. The efforts will compliment Sport England's objective of regular weekly participation to create a sporting habit for life, seeing more people taking up regular cycling and maintaining activity long term, creating more opportunities for young people and a growth in participation by people who have disabilities.

Charles Johnson, Director of Property at Sport England said: “We welcome The London Marathon Charitable Trust’s decision to come on board and help us deliver this fantastic trail. Having access to quality and safe cycle trails set in the beautiful setting of Osterley Park will be a huge boost to people living in West London. Nothing beats getting active in the great outdoors, and that’s why we are proud to use £2 million of National Lottery money to deliver trails like this in Osterley and across the country.”

It will also support the National Trust's objective of getting more people outdoors and closer to nature and improve access to Osterley's wider estate and woodland, building upon an established network of dedicated off road cycle trails at some National Trust places such as Leigh Woods, Wicken Fen, Lanhydrock and Plym Woods.