Soil Searching at the Traildays festival.

The Traildays festival rolled into town over the weekend of 6th and 7th of July and the TVTA were really pleased to be able to get involved. As part of the festival the Soil Searching initiative ran a dig day alongside the Glentress Trailfairies and TVTA were able to lend a hand with our growing number of qualified volunteer co-ordinators.

TVTA and Trail fairy volunteers prep the kit for the Soil Searching Volunteers

TVTA and Trail fairy volunteers prep the kit for the Soil Searching Volunteers

TVTA Secretary Aneela overjoyed to find a hi-vis that actually fits in the age 11-12 tub - the struggle is real!

TVTA Secretary Aneela overjoyed to find a hi-vis that actually fits in the age 11-12 tub - the struggle is real!

Sprayed up ready to dig

Sprayed up ready to dig

Rock in or rock out?

Rock in or rock out?

Andy Wardman, Glentress MTB Ranger and head trail fairy had us up early and out on the trail by 8.30 to go over his ambitious plan to repair damage to the lower section of Falla Brae red route, one of the most popular trails at Glentress. He had identified 3 main areas of work and TVTA coordinators would pair up to manage the Soil Searching volunteers to get the three sections, re dug, re-surfaced and back to full flow. Andy’s ambitious plan involved repairing breaking bumps, brining the trail line back under control and improving drainage by digging and new sump and laying a drainage pipe. Plan made the TVTA gang got to moving material up and down in wheelbarrows whilst Soil Searching head Honcho Fanie (Fah-ney) and Andy went off to meet the volunteers.

Andy and Fanie welcome the troops with a rousing speech

Andy and Fanie welcome the troops with a rousing speech

After introductions and safety briefs the volunteers, who had come from all over the country, set about digging, shovelling and slinging Scottish Dirt all over the place. The youngest member of the team being only 4 and half! Progress was quick on the first two areas of work with the identified breaking bumps soon turned into neat little trays, dug down to the precious mineral soil and backfilled with new trail material ready for a date with the whacker plate. The third section, the big job, which involved a long corner which needed digging out and reshaping as well as a new sump and drainage pipe fitted took a little longer but was eventually completed just a little after the scheduled stop time of 1pm. The new turns looked pretty amazing and reports from riders completing the turns in the afternoon were nothing but positive!

The future of trail building is in safe hands!

The future of trail building is in safe hands!

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The precious red mineral soil!

The precious red mineral soil!

Whacker plate out!

Whacker plate out!

Turns crafted

Turns crafted

End of dig Pizza and Tempest Beers delivered by the beer bike

End of dig Pizza and Tempest Beers delivered by the beer bike

And much enjoyed by Gordon…

And much enjoyed by Gordon…

and Marc….

and Marc….

As part of the TrailDays festival donations were made to the soil searching campaign through the purchase of merchandise, beer and raffle to win a beautiful looking Specialized Stumpjumper. TVTA will receive a quarter of the over £4000 that was raised by the festival goers. This money will be put back into the Tweed valleys trail network, bringing you many happy KM of turns for years to come.

The TVTA Gang

The TVTA Gang

We would like to extend our huge thanks to Specialized and the Trail Days festival for hosting the event hear in the Valley and helping to spread the word about trail maintenance through their Soil Searching campaign. Also to FES, Andy Wardman and the trail fairies and most importantly all the festival goers and volunteers who made the day fun and worthwhile!

Dig for Victory.

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