Nurture Eden’ membership is open to all businesses and organisations in and around the Eden Valley. The money raised through Nurture Eden membership will go directly to help fund training events, workshops, support and advice and are also one of the mechanisms for all of the projects we support to become self-sustaining.
To read more about the benefits of becoming
'A Nurture Eden' member CLICK HERE
Stay in touch...
Guest Column - Mark Brierly
Has Britain developed a new love of cycling?
The growth of the British public’s new found interest in cycling was brought home to me on a chilly Tuesday September night in a small Eden village.
The Strickland Arms public house had won a competition organised by the professional cycling team, Team Sky Pro Cycling, during this year’s Tour de France.
An announcement on the team’s website that a presentation would be made to the pub that night drew a crowd of over 300 people that night together with representatives of the local media. An hour late, to the amazement of the crowd, the entire team, including Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and World Champion Mark Cavendish arrived in a gleaming team bus.
The team were overwhelmed by the reception and stayed for two hours, eating a meal, chatting to locals, posed for photographs and signing hundreds of autographs. The team departed into the night amid cheers from the crowd.
Five or maybe even one year ago who could imagine cyclists being treated like pop stars in an Eden village?
The profile of cycling has been boosted by success in the Tour de France and at the London Olympics. Winning cyclists were features of front pages in the nations press over a remarkable summer. The crowds turned out again in Eden to watch the Tour of Britain stage from Carlisle to Blackpool.
Not content with watching their new heroes, increasing numbers are taking to their bikes. In Cumbria this interest has led to record numbers (a 40% increase on last year) cycling the Jennings’s River Ride, a 40 or 85 mile charity cycle ride linking the bridges damaged by the 2009 floods, despite rain that was reminiscent of the weather that coursed those floods.
This new interest in all things cycling couldn’t have come at a better time for the Nurture Eden programme. Cycling and green tourism are natural partners. With a study in the tourism potential of cycling, commissioned by Nurture Eden, due to report this month, we have the opportunity to make the most of the area’s natural beauty and quiet lanes.
It may be too easy to look at local congestion in Eden’s towns or those hills that give the valley so much of its character, as being barriers to growing cycle tourism in the area. But those hills have downs as well as ups and the towns are small, compact and easily left by minor roads, by-ways and even cycle ways.
With a new research and subsequent planning jointly by the public, private and voluntary sectors, the opportunity of drawing those potential visitors who would be interesting in cycling, either as part of the focus of their visit, to stay Eden has never been more tangible. This is a chance that we need to take, if we don’t others will. So let’s make 2013 the year that Eden can truly say that cyclists are welcome in Eden.