Video & Race Report: The UK's Wildest Enduro Festival - Naughty Northumbrian 2021

Sep 1, 2021
by Naughty Northumbrian  

The Naughty Northumbrian is a unique race on the UK mountain bike scene. It's wild, loose, care-free and in a remote area within Northumberland National Park.

Dom Ferris - The ultimate montane species.
Dom Ferris - The ultimate montane species.

Working with farmer John Snaith, Foresty England and another landowner, the event can only take place in August due to various environmental and seasonal challenges. There is no phone reception at the event Hay meadow field camping site, and no running water. The river bordering the site is a constantly monitored SSSI and those with keen eyes would have spotted trout and salmon in the shady areas over the weekend. Peregrines, Gos Hawks, Herons, Buzzards, Owls, Otters and water voles were all spotted over the weekend.

This cacophony of reasons to detach from the rest of the world for a weekend, an abundance of wildlife and some of the best trail riding England has to offer creates a relaxed vibe that harks back to a simpler time of mountain biking with friends on handbuilt trails, good music, fire pits, 5 a side footy, good food and great beer being the primary focus of the 1500 people on site.

The loam of stage was a constant talking point throughout the weekend. True Coquet Valley gold.

Kevin Clark former Scottish Downhill Champion on marshalling duties at the top of stage 3. The unsung heroes of the event.
Kevin Clark, former Scottish Downhill Champion on marshalling duties at the top of stage 3. The unsung heroes of the event.

TFT Tagging and events were a huge hit with the younger attendees.
TFT Tagging and events were a huge hit with the younger attendees.

With 1200 people on site, some amazing films from Scott, Patagonia and others to go with locally sourced food and beer, the event paddock was a stripped back, relaxed vibe befitting of the area the event takes place in.Nature is a theme park for the senses.

Hemp string instead of cables this year for the recycled number boards. Simple things in making a difference.
Hemp string instead of cables this year for the recycled number boards. Simple things in making a difference.

Title sponsor not only helped provide amazing custom beer but also hit the trails with the riders and generally soaked up the vibes. All bike riders at heart.
Title sponsor Scott not only helped provide amazing custom beer, but also hit the trails with the riders and generally soaked up the vibes. All bike riders at heart.

How most riders felt at the top of stage 2 - gamblers.
How most riders felt at the top of stage 2 - gamblers.

Corey Watson, deceptively stylish, deceptively fast, not so deceptively all round nice dude.

Overall female winner Helen Gaskell taking on the infamous rocky horror show trail.
Overall female winner Helen Gaskell taking on the infamous rocky horror show trail.

Farmer John Snaith was on hand the entire week before the event cutting paths into his beautiful red clover grass mix hay meadow for everyone to enjoy.
Farmer John Snaith was on hand the entire week before the event, cutting paths into his beautiful red clover / grass mix hay meadow for everyone to enjoy.


The Trash Free Olympics got the crowd whipped up a treat
The Trash Free Olympics got the crowd whipped up a treat!

Manon Carpenter was back between the tape taking a win on board her Specialized in front of Toni Fryer and Melody Fife.
Manon Carpenter was back between the tape, taking a win on board her Specialized in front of Toni Fryer and Melody Fife.

Fastest time of the day - Corey Watson was flying. Mark Scott cruised round between the tape to grab a 2nd in front of Contour Collective s Christo Gallagher.
Fastest time of the day - Corey Watson was flying. Mark Scott cruised round between the tape to grab a 2nd in front of Contour Collective's Christo Gallagher.

Subaru sponsored the event this year providing vital vehicle cover to access across the 9,000 acres of site

A sombre note to end the report on. Joe Spedding, who's Mum lives locally, sadly lost his life while travelling home from the Naughty on Monday morning. This was Joe's first Naughty, and his enthusiasm was a joy to behold. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in peace Joe. Photo: Peter Smith


All photos Pete Scullion unless otherwise stated.


14 Comments

  • 6 0
 The Naughty Northumbrian gets better each year! Carl, Tommy and their team do an amazing job and I'm already looking forward to 2022. If you like natural, loose, steep and technical trails - make sure you get this one entered! Condolences to the family and friends of Joe Spedding. RIP in fella.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree! I'll be back, even if just to see if the stage3 '19 / stage4 '21 curse is lifted!!!
  • 3 0
 I'm all for the hemp string and recycled number boards, but can we standardise on having a pair of holes close together at the bottom, to tie around the steerer tube beneath the stem?
  • 1 0
 Good feedback. We'll get that sorted for next year. Baby steps.
  • 1 0
 Was an epically tough race, practice on Saturday was hot & hard work, so when race day came it was a relief to see clouds

Toughest Ive done in England

I struggled a lot! will definitely be back next year to do better
  • 1 0
 Haste ye back! Pleased you enjoyed it, even if it sounds type 2 fun!
  • 3 0
 Man this all made me super happy until the very end. RIP Joe
  • 3 0
 4% beer - taking some big risk there, Gambler
  • 1 0
 Looks like a banger of a time, beautiful location and good folk. Horrible news about Joe. RIP mate.
  • 1 0
 When is the sign up for next year's event?
  • 3 0
 Won't be long. Around October / November.
  • 1 0
 @NaughtyNorthumbrian: Is there a "first timers" category? For those of us with more than the 2 tyres.....
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