Mountain biking in Friston Forest

Friston Forest is an increasingly popular location for mountain biking and over time a number of unofficial bike trails have been created including cross country tracks and built structures on downhill routes.

The Forestry Commission provides cycle trails within Friston, which have been created and are managed taking into account the impact on conservation features, archaeological sites and other forest users.  Unofficial trails, by their very nature do not necessarily consider such aspects sufficiently and consequently, they can have unintentional negative effects.

We would like to work with cyclists and other forests users of Friston Forest to improve the opportunities to ride while reducing the impact of cycling on the surrounding environment.

This discussion is for any visitor to Friston Forest who has ideas or comments about the way bike trails are accommodated within the forest. We welcome all views. We are particularly interested in what people feel is working well, what isn’t and suggestions on how to move forward.

Please select the 'Submit an idea' button in the right-hand column to make suggestions.

Please note that inappropriate or irrelevant comments and ideas will be removed.



Friston Forest is owned by South East Water and managed by the Forestry Commission on a 200 year lease. The forest covers more than 800 hectares of land within the South Downs National Park. Predominately a beech plantation, planted in the 1950s the Forest is increasingly popular for a variety of pastimes including dog walking, horse riding, mountain biking as well as a range of organised events.  Further important management aims are to provide a source of timber and maintain important woodland habitat.

To achieve a balance of management objectives the Forestry Commission works with several different partners in Friston Forest including Sussex Wildlife Trust, South Downs National Park, Seven Sisters Country Park and Toll Rides (Off-Road) Trust (TROT) among others. You can find more information at:


What happens next?

This initial discussion will continue until the 18 October 2013 and once we’ve considered the comments we’ll decide how to progress. Depending upon the level of responses to this process we aim to publish our findings and proposals by 31 October 2013 on


Keeping in touch

To keep up to date with the mountain biking at Friston Forst project once this dialogue closes, please sign up to the mailing list: