Forestry and Land Scotland has started work to extend the car park at Learnie Red Rocks mountain bike trails.
The addition of 25 extra spaces will help cater for the growing number of mountain bikers who visit to try out the mix of trails.
Learnie offers a range of trails to suit all abilities and skill levels but is especially good for novice and intermediate riders.
Carol MacKintosh, FLS’ Area Visitor Services Manager, said:
“Learnie is steadily growing in popularity so we’re looking to be able to accommodate that upsurge in interest.
“The excitement generated by the recent UCI World Championships has no doubt helped encourage more people to give mountain biking a try.
“Experienced riders love the challenges on offer here but Learnie is also ideal for learners.
“We will have to close the skills area while we do the work but the trails will still be open.”
In recent years the car park has often not been big enough to cope with the number of visitors. Recent timber harvesting work presents an opportunity to enlarge the facility to support recreation in the national forests.
Ewan Henderson, Chair of the Black Isle Trails Association, said:
“The Black Isle Trails Association was set up to ensure that the trails within the Black Isle and Inverness areas remain safe, exciting and accessible to as many people as can get to them.
“For the last 3 years we have worked closely with FLS to try and maintain the trails, whilst ensuring ongoing work is carried out to stabilise erosion and improve car parking safety.
“After the recent tree felling operation, FLS has taken the opportunity to carry out some long overdue and wholly necessary car park expansion work.
“We welcome the efforts of those involved in making this possible and look forward to the immediate future where significant input and resources will be required to maintain and improve the more pressing issues.
“These include us working collaboratively to tackle the wear and tear issues to the main tracks / car park jump area, manage and plan for the imminent extensive harvesting damage and ensure that opportunity exists to make the venue sustainable and attractive for the next generation.”
The car park extension is expected to take five weeks and in the interim an alternative entrance will allow access to the site from Eathie.
A one way system will be in operation.