EUROPARC Webinars

EUROPARC webinars are the easiest way to learn and connect with peers from across Europe, all within the comfort of your home or office.

Planning and designing hiking and cycling trails to minimise impact and relieve Park management

Join the first EUROPARC webinar of 2023:

Mountain biking as an activity can be controversial in some Protected Areas. Especially in Periurban Parks, where an ever-increasing number of mountain bikers seek trails for recreational use and training purposes, many Park managers and visitors attribute damage to the natural environment to cyclists.

Mountain biking is sometimes singled-out due to the ecological degradation and soil erosion that the activity can cause to trails. However, do other recreational activities not also contribute to soil erosion? And, how is the placement, alignment and construction of the trails used by visitors in Protected Areas contributing to, for example, erosion, by not preventing water run-off?

In this webinar, we will learn what techniques can be applied to plan and improve the design of trails to make them more sustainable, by reducing impacts on the natural environment and minimising their future maintenance requirements. Furthermore, we will discover a successful collaboration between a Park management body and a bikers’ association in the transformation of an existing path into two distinct paths, one for hiking and one for mountain bikes.

This webinar is the first one of a series of webinars organised by EUROPARC’s Periurban Parks Commission to deepen and illustrate the Periurban Parks Toolkit on Planning and Management, launched in 2021.

Webinar Programm

Setting the scene – welcome and introduction to the webinar
Teresa Pastor, EUROPARC Federation

Recreational trails for hiking and mountain biking: sustainable planning and design.
Hans Stoops, Advocacy officer, and Sustainable Trails expert, International Mountain Bicycling Association – Europe.

Construction of a Mountain Bike trail in Mt. Hymettus Aesthetic Forest, a highly frequented Periurban Park in Athens.
George Sourvinos, Member of the Hellenic Mountain Bike Association.

Final questions and conclusions – Teresa Pastor, EUROPARC Federation.

Register now!

Meet the speakers

Hans Stoops
Advocacy Officer, International Mountain Bicycling Association Europe. 

IMBA Europe promotes mountain biking for health and recreation, and helps to create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes. Hans has previously worked as a project manager responsible for recreational cycling, sustainable trails and cycling tourism at the Swedish cycling advocacy organisation Cykelfrämjandet.

George Sourvinos
Member of the Hellenic Mountain Bike Association

George has been an avid mountain biker since 2008. He works in the tourist sector as a tour leader in various activities, including cycling. He is a founding member of the Hellenic Mountain Bike Association. Along with other members around Greece, they have been trying to promote the sport of mountain biking in our country in consultation with local authorities.