Cycling in Romania
Târnava Mare is one of the last intact high-nature landscapes surviving in lowland Europe. Its many valuable habitats have evolved in association with traditional low-impact agriculture, harbouring a vast diversity of flora and fauna including many threatened species. This landscape depends on the continued survival of its small-scale farming communities. Despite 85,000 hectares being declared a Natura 2000 site, the region is threatened by abandonment due to lack of economic prospects.
A pilot project in 2011 demonstrated how a mountain bike network can be a catalyst for multiple benefits to the local economy and therefore to the surrounding landscape, by attracting visitors to the area. This ADEPT project will:
- Create 15km of mountain bike trail, linking 3 villages, employing 20 local people, involving 70 green tourism providers, 5 schools and 10,000 small scale farming families
- Develop a sustainable tourism strategy for the mountain bike network
- Raise awareness of green tourism in the area
Creating the new trail August 2013
Work began on creating the trail in August 2013 as shown in the picture here. Local labour and resources are being used to create the trail.
15km of trail have been completed, linking the villages of Bunesti, Crit, Mesendorf and Viscri. It is surfaced with compacted stone and involved the employment of 6 full time and 15 occasional workers for its creation. Meetings were held in all villages to make villagers aware of the value of the trail to the local community. An important result is that in late 2013, the town Hall responsible for all the villages passed a local regulation forbidding motorised off-road recreation in the area, to ensure that the area is kept for mountain bikers who will visit the area. A good practice guide was written for use in other areas when creating mountain bike trails, emphasising sustainable use and local benefits to the trails. In addition, a tourism strategy was created, again promoting best use and sustainable management of the network in the long term, while benefitting local communities. Maps, brochures and a mobile phone app all were created to raise awareness of this green tourism option. More information can be seen at HERE
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