Cyclists have backed plans to create trails within the proposed Farnley Country Park.

A number of possible routes were ridden by mountain bikers including Dale Casper from Albion Cycles in Thongsbridge.

Dale, a qualified British Cycling mountain bike leader, said the land around Farnley Tyas, owned by Farnley Estates, could be great for man-made trails, something not currently available in Kirklees.

At the moment mountain bikers must travel to Sheffield or facilities in North Yorkshire to access maintained off-road tracks.

But space in Hey Wood between Honley and Farnley Tyas could provide a range of tracks for experts or novices alike.

Dale said the woods had a lot of potential for downhill and cross country routes.

“This could provide a valuable stepping stone for people coming into the sport and for those who just want to ride for fun and health benefits,” he said.

“As well as giving experienced riders somewhere to train, it will provide families with an off-road, properly managed and accessible location where they can try the sport in relative safety.

“To have such a facility on our doorstep would be a real boost for local cycling.

“While there’s plenty of natural trails around Huddersfield there’s not really anywhere that avoids roads.

“A lot of those routes are also on bridleways or footpaths that are too narrow and can lead to conflicts with walkers or horse riders.”

Mountain bikers check out possible routes within the proposed Farnley Country Park. Farnley Estates' Estate Manager, Paul Elgar, (2nd right) invited cyclists to ride the area and discuss the potential for dedicated mountain bike trails in Hey Wood near Honley.

Farnley Country Park, a £150 million leisure amenity, is being proposed by Farnley Estates.

It could feature a range of outdoor attractions such as a walking circuit and camping facilities.

Farnley Estates says it needs to sell land close to Fenay Bridge and Farnley Tyas to finance the park.

The proposal is being considered by Kirklees Council as part of the Local Plan consultation.

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Paul Sykes, director Farnley Estates Ltd, said: “The Tour de France illustrated the popularity of cycling in the region and there is a real demand for safer places to cycle.

“If we are given the means to create Farnley Country Park with off-road cycling routes, designed with conservation in mind and sympathetic to the environment, it could be of huge benefit to Kirklees.”

A consultation on the Local Plan runs until February 1 at