Winds of Change: A film about storms, bike trails and community

Manon Carpenter explores the effects of a changing climate and how mountain bikers in Northumberland and Aberdeenshire are adapting

Feature type Video

Published Jun 05, 2023

Photographer Saskia Dugon

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

As more extreme weather events become the norm, the impacts on communities across the globe and how they adapt to cope are a critical part of every day life. Between November 2021 and February 2022 the UK saw a series of storms, the power of which had not been seen since the Great Storm of 1987.

Whole towns and villages were cut off from power, heating, running water and mobile phone reception. Further to the immediate impact on lives, an estimated 16 million trees were blown over blocking roads, flattening forestry plantations and destroying vehicles.

 

an estimated 16 million trees were blown over blocking roads, flattening forestry plantations and destroying vehicles

18-months on, the operations to alleviate the impact of the storms continue. Many forests remain closed to mountain bikers, with trails buried under a twisted maze of unstable timber. Some may be lost forever, leaving the raconteurs to wax lyrical of days gone by.  All, however, is not lost.

While some areas and communities are sitting in limbo as to whether their hallowed spaces and revered trails will reopen, others have managed to stride forward thanks to a progressive, collaborative approach with land managers.

In this Soil Searching film, trail and environmental advocate Manon Carpenter takes a journey of discovery to two of the worst affected regions in the UK – Northumberland and Aberdeenshire, to see how these passionate communities have been affected. Through practical actions and sharing of stoke, Manon learns how mountain bikers are adapting to a more extreme climate in an effort to secure a long term future for their trails and quality of life.

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