Say Hi to Ali, A-TEAMer and DIO Extraordinaire...

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; we are immensely thankful and proud of the work that you, our TrashMOB do to help protect our trails and wild places. From the collective small actions of the many (picking up even one piece of single-use pollution, or SUP, makes a difference) to those who go a step beyond.

A few months back, we highlighted the awesome work of Matt Kennelly and his work in the far south of the country in Cornwall. Now it’s time to point the compass due north and head up to Cambusbarron, in Stirling, Scotland.

Trash Free Cambu

Ali Hair lives in Cambusbarron and regularly rides his local trails, many of which are built on land owned by a local Community Development Trust. Ali and friend Chris Farquhar are actually a little more involved in the scene than just riding the trails; Chris has spent the past 15 years building and maintaining trails on the hill, with Ali joining him to sling a shovel or two over the past few years.

As many of us have, Ali noticed an increase in trail traffic over the last few years, and especially during and since lockdown. And, as we highlighted when we spoke to the Lakes Plastic Collective there was a correlation between more riders and more SUP on the trails. Ali and Chris have always been practical and taken care of the trails, so would often pick up the immediately visible litter, but there was now enough that more needed to be done.

Between them both they decided that an organised trail clean would be a great way to not only remove the accumulated SUP from the Cambusbarron trails, but also generate some positive PR for local mountain bikers and to engage with the wider local community, and the Development Trust. As with many areas that see riders cross paths with hikers, dog walkers and other trail users there was occasionally conflict and riders were often seen as “the bad guys”. Work had already started with Chris collaborating with the Woodland Manager on some trail changes, but what better way to change perceptions further than some proactive trail care?

Having not organised anything like this before, Ali decided to look for some guidance. He had been aware of Trash Free Trails, but it was only when he checked our website that he found the Do It Ourselves Toolkit

Ali: “I wanted to organise and promote the event as much as possible. I also wanted to make sure we followed Covid safety good practice and made the most of the day. The Do It Ourselves Toolkit gave me the framework to run the day. The Big Group guidance in particular was really useful. It also prompted us to go a step further. We recor