Croft Trail History

Before 2007 the site of the trail apparently resembled nothing more than a field of nettles. Then the Nationwide Cycling Club began building using funds from the National Lottery “Awards For All”.

In late 2008 local rider Phil Mayger approached the builders of the existing trail and got involved in work days. He then asked Tom Stickland if he was interested in helping too. He was curious and agreed to help out for a day but didn’t really have any great long term interest. Within a short while, though, he’d realised the potential of the trail and was keen to move things forwards.

The Facebook group was formed in early 2009 and the founding members started looking out for more people to help on build days. Phil was contacted by a mountain biker with a Land Rover, and Rafe Aldridge was soon busy moving material. He also used his knowledge of the internet to build this website. It went live in late 2009.

In mid 2009 the Croft MTB Trail was handed over to Phil which meant he was the Council’s contact and the maker of final decisions on trail features.

Other people who quickly became key players were Pete Ratcliffe and Alan and Jodie West. Pete gradually convinced his girlfriend that the group weren’t as socially unacceptable as they looked. Kat Beeston was soon involved in doing a lot of art and web-based things for the group.

In the winter of 2009 when the group ran out of material and funds they set about formalising what would become MB Swindon. See the club history.

The Trail would be nothing without those who have got involved, so a big thank you to everyone that has helped over the years… and sorry if we’ve not mentioned your name!

More trail building at Swindon.

Raw materials

Hundreds of tonnes of earth, rocks and gravel has been moved around the Trail during its years of development – mostly carried manually by wheelbarrow.

Land Rover at Croft Trail in Swindon.

A little help

Having the Land Rover on site made things a lot quicker as it was able to shift several barrowloads at once.

Rock steps and path.

Starting from scratch

Paths had to be cleared and foundations laid for the whole 5km length of the Trail. All this was carried out by volunteers and paid for by MB Swindon club subscriptions.