A new network of cycle trails could be created across the Outer Hebrides.
Jonny Murray and Jan Schouten from cyclist-transport provider HebShuttle have created Hebridean X Trails to ensure that the Outer Hebrides can take full advantage of growth in cyclocross and mountain biking activities.
Cyclocross and mountain-biking contribute significantly to Scottish tourism numbers and Scotland is recognised as being among the best destinations in the world for both.
Hebridean X Trails intend to make the Outer Hebrides a destination for Cyclocross and Mountain Biking.
The outstanding natural Atlantic environment and availability of constructed and natural routes will make Hebridean X Trails the choice for visitors to come to the edge of Scotland and will bring significant economic benefits.
Jonny and Jan are actively seeking collaboration with island communities, landowners, trusts and grazing committees to address the risk of erosion caused by people taking bikes on to natural routes such as beaches and machair land.
Sustainable paths through the communities will be designed in partnership with all stakeholders.
Hebridean X Trails intend to brand and promote the routes and will produce maps and signposts to guide cyclists along sustainable routes. There are no working examples yet but they have got some possible trails mapped out.
They want to launch the first trail to show how commercial interests and communities can come together. Over the last few months, Hebridean X Trails have been out in Uist and Barra scouting for some exceptional routes. Harris and Lewis are next on their agenda. Places like Scalpay, Uig, Tolsta and Point all offer great potential.
Local communities are invited to approach Jonny and Jan to talk about the opportunities Hebridean X Trails can bring to their area.
Jan says: “The outstanding attractiveness of the Outer Hebrides great outdoors is capturing people's imagination.
“Hebridean X Trails recognises the duty for Landlords, Community Landowners and commercial companies like ours, to ensure this success to be maintained and built for the future.
“Working together, we can promote sustainable trials and responsible use throughout the Outer Hebrides.
“We from Hebridean X Trails want to engage with all stakeholders, collaborate, coordinate, invest and lead the development of sustainable trails.”