Raiders Gravel secures UNESCO Biosphere endorsement for its approach to sustainability
International cycling festival Raiders Gravel is taking place in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere between August 25th and 28th, and will be the first event to operate under the Biosphere's new Sustainable Events Charter.
Promoted as 'a truly Scottish cycling adventure', Raiders Gravel invites solo and team riders from across the UK and abroad to immerse themselves in the wild beauty of the Biosphere over routes which cover close to 250km of gravel tracks. Participants will experience some of the unique and precious environments for which southwest Scotland was awarded its UNESCO designation in 2012; landmarks along the three-day ride include Clatteringshaws Loch, the Black Water of Dee, and the Big Water of Fleet Viaduct in Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve.
As well as being a member of the Biosphere's Proud Supporter scheme, Raiders Gravel will be the first to bear the logo which recognises its credentials as a sustainable event. The Biosphere's recently launched events charter asks operators to focus on how they can minimise negative impacts on wildlife and natural resources while supporting local suppliers and promoting the unique heritage of the Biosphere region. The events charter also puts the onus on organisers to encourage participants to choose sustainable options for transport, accommodation and food.
Raiders' Event Village will be based at Gatehouse of Fleet, which has been a designated 'Biosphere Community' since 2017. As the festival's HQ Gatehouse will host a wide range of entertainments and refreshments as well as Raiders' partner organisations who are among the world's top cycling and sports brands. The Biosphere team will be on site over the weekend as well, with information for those who want to find out more about the natural and cultural heritage of the region and projects that the Biosphere has underway.
Ed Forrest, Director of Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere said, "It's fantastic to see such a significant international event coming to our UNESCO Biosphere and making a public commitment to embrace and promote the sustainability ethos that we share with so many of our local communities and businesses across the region."
Maximilian Wussler, Head of Marketing at Golazo Cycling said, "We always wanted Raiders Gravel to be a world leader in its approach to sustainable event delivery - our partnership with the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is rooted in our shared goal of creating positive outcomes for people and planet. We are delighted to have been awarded the Biosphere's sustainable event logo and know that our international competitors will recognise the privilege of riding gravel among the Biosphere's world class environments."
Councillor Alec Clark, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Rural Affairs who represents South Ayrshire Council on the UNESCO Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Board said: "Events like Raiders Gravel are great for raising the profile of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. Hopefully some of those taking part will also venture into South Ayrshire to follow the National Cycle Route number 7 or to experience the rugged splendour of the Ayrshire Alps."
More information about Raiders Gravel including how to enter or attend as a visitor is available at www.raidersgravel.com. Explore the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere at www.gsabiosphere.org.uk.