Naughty Northumbrian Joins the Trash Free Trails Approved Event Scheme

Aug 3, 2021 at 11:20
by Naughty Northumbrian  

Press Release: Naughty Northumbrian

The Naughty Northumbrian is often dubbed as the UK's wildest Enduro.

That term is open to lots of interpretation but in this case it refers to not only the trails, but the rugged, biodiverse landscape of the Northumberland National Park and the accompanying space - only 2 people per sq kilometre live and work here.

This places an extra responsibility on the Naughty Northumbrian event - a responsibility that sits alongside providing an all-time experience - to make sure we work with those who live and work in this valley, conserve this vitally important space and help those who visit understand why it is so important that we do so: it's not always easy to see what is beyond the surface in a species-rich area like this.

Scotty Laughland is a rider seeking to put more emphasis on how he can sustainably interact with nature

Finding a way to elevate this ethos in a fun way is a cornerstone of Trash Free Trails - so a concept such as the TFT approved event feels like a huge leap in the right direction for events, and a fun way of turning burdens of responsibility into exciting, feel-good actions.

When the opportunity to work with Trash Free Trails arose, DWAgency Managing Director, Tommy Wilkinson, who is a partner in the event alongside Carl Division and Barry Kemp felt this was a partnership that simply had to happen "Riding bikes is just great really; good for the soul and they allow us to access remote areas. Having a parent who farmed in these hills, my first consideration with Naughty Northumbrian has always been how the event impacts those lower down the catchment, wildlife, visitors, those who live here, and how we leave a positive impact. In short, I really care about my home area. "TFT approved" feels like an opportunity to build that conversation. That said, we aren't perfect event organisers by any means, there are impacts beyond the average person's control (how people travel here, for example) and we still have lots to work on - there is inevitably still a tension between running a steady ship and falling on our environmental sword, which sucks, but this is a great step in the right direction"

Luke Mumford riding another Classic Naughty Northumbrian trail in the Upper Coquet Valley of Northumberland National Park.
Luke Mumford riding another Classic Naughty Northumbrian trail in the Upper Coquet Valley of Northumberland National Park.

Indeed, most of the wins the event is trialling are easy - Testing 40% of course tape as Hemp tape instead of plastic tape (Something PMBA deserve a nod of thanks for), using solar light towers, ensuring we don't place water infrastructure pressures on the local community by working with Northumbrian Water, sourcing food vendors who use local produce and support good, local farmers, re-using or using recycled materials for signage, working with a refuse company who provide slips of where trash and recyclables go, and making sure no vendors are using single-use plastic are all easy to do. Some things, such as event power provision in a valley where 98% of the buildings are still powered by diesel generators and sourcing compostable toilets that are within a two-hour drive, is hard and not possible as yet. The journey is iterative, but the Naughty Northumbrian recognises the need to act as fast as possible.

bigquotesSet for release in 2022, TFT Approved is a free to use, self accreditation toolkit that enables event organisers of all shapes and sizes to Massively reduce the single-use product footprint of their events and #LeaveAPositiveTrace on the trails and wild places that host them. For an event to be considered TFT Approved, it must meet a number of criteria, with gold, silver and bronze accreditation levels providing opportunities for gradual improvement whilst still having something to celebrate.

We also know how surprisingly complex event organisation can be so we're really taking our time over the development of TFT Approved. By collaborating with some of the World’s biggest (and smallest) and best mountain bike events, like The Scott Naughty Northumbrian to field test the scheme we can be sure that it's fit for purpose for everyone to use. We're super grateful to Tommy, Carl, Barry and the Naughty team and we can't wait to join them this August Bank Holiday.
Trash Free Trails Managing Director, Dom Ferris

bigquotesLike all riders, we ride to have fun and escape from the day to day stresses of life. However, we also see ourselves as not only doing our tiny part to be more responsible but also as fun conservators. As new biodiversity and agricultural laws come into place, it's crucially important that we, as mountain bikers, can be seen as useful partners to farmers, land managers and groups who are seeking to improve carbon sequestration, support communities, increase biodiversity and drastically reduce carbon and single-use pollution. Being part of helping TFT develop and pilot their approved event scheme is a key starting point on that journey that can only enhance our experiences in the long term. Tommy Wilkinson

Rich Breeden, Trash Free Trails

Scotty Laughland a long way into the Coquet Valley.


  • 4 0
 Cool but hate the fact people think we need a body for trash free trails…
  • 1 0
 Yeah, turn up at literally any trail centre/bikepark and your guaranteed to see either drinks bottles, energy gel sachets, goggle tear off lenses ect. f*ck people. In school I always got the impression that if you litter your a jerk, but literally going anywhere outside seems like its just the done thing to do. So sad!
  • 2 0
 I can't speak for TFT but I wouldn't call them a body. They are simply passionate people trying to raise awareness and take pride in the areas we play in. From our end, we don't have a litter problem here. We do have land that needs to be protected beyond just littering and we need to think about water usage pressures on the community, river health (bike oils etc..) and more. If it gets folk thinking about things that's a win for us.
  • 1 0
 Great to see, you have only have to go to the local poo ark to see how bad some people are at taking their litter home
  • 1 0
 Is Scotty riding a new genius with the bold hidden shock treatment...?
  • 1 0
 Scratch that, i was reading the 'Tuned' on the downtube backwards as 'genius'

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