Describe your project
To purchase a snow grooming machine that will compact and level the snow around Glenmore Forest Park in winter months allowing more people to access this amazing winter wonderland. The Ginzugroomer is made in North America and used around the world to create tracks in the snow for cross country skiing, walking, mountain biking and sled dogs. As a tow along unit it allows us to flatten and compact the snow to create a firm level surface suitable for many more users. Historically this was done by a large machine that was run by a charity, this is now beyond economical repair and the old charity supports Cairngorm Biathlon and Nordic Ski Club in taking this project forward. Without this there will be no tracks cut next winter to be enjoyed by the local community and visitors for walking, cross country skiing, mountain biking and sled dogs.
How will your project benefit your local community?
Currently, Glenmore Forest Park and Glenmore Lodge grounds are visited and enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors a year, many of these in the winter months. It will provide an enhanced network of trails that are accessible to more people in our community for recreational activity. The old tracks could only be set on a smaller portion of trails due to the width of the machine and were only suitable for cross country skiing. The new trails will be able to be cut on narrower tracks and by doing 2 passes on the wide tracks will leave a larger communal flat area in the middle for cross country skiers, walkers, bikers and sled dogs. Importantly it will also support the development of the local cross country ski clubs in the area. As well as recreational users it will also support the local economy by diversifying the winter visitor market especially with the ongoing economic hardship due to issues with the Funicular at Cairngorm Mountain by providing a wider range of recreational activities for visitors. This has direct benefits in terms of ski hire, café stops and indirect benefits in terms of more overnight stays and spend in local shops.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
As soon as the old machine broke down the local community started to think about how we could move forward for tracks at Glenmore Forest Park. The project has the support of the Aviemore & Vicinity Community Council who have already donated towards the project. It also has support from Cairngorm Biathlon and Nordic Ski Club, as well as Highland Nordic Ski Club and Glenmore Piste Charity. Wide support from businesses and other clubs such as the cycling clubs in the area is also a key part of our project.
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
In winter there are about 400 cross country skiers and similar number of walkers per day. The new network will be able to be used by other groups, with the improved network, usage will be up to 1000 people per day at weekends and 500 visitors per weekday.
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
The cost of the track cutter and shipping it to the UK from North America is £6,775 but import VAT duty then has to be paid of 20% being £1,355 giving a total cost of around £8300 depending on exchange rates. Cairngorm Biathlon and Nordic Ski Club has already committed £1000 to the project and the Aviemore & Vicinity Community Council have committed a further £500. The remaining funding will come from fundraising activities over the summer. A future crowdfunding project will be used to finance a customised vehicle to tow the track cutter, but in the short term we have use of a vehicle to enable us to prepare a limited network of track for the coming winter. All the track cutting will be undertaken by a group of volunteers, who either are already experienced or will be trained over the summer/autumn once the machine has arrived.
When and why was your project founded?
Track cutting was carried out by the old charity for the last decade, Cairngorm Biathlon and Nordic Ski Club agreed to take this new exciting project forward after extensive research in March 2019 to extend and enhance the network of trails for a larger group of users.