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Aston Hill Closure

Aston Hill Bike Park – Temporary Closure for Tree Felling and Re-investment

Update 23/06/23

Reinstatement works at Aston Hill Bike Park are currently underway. The large number of trees identified with Chalara ash diebackhave been removed and tree felling works have been completed. The carpark has been restored and we are continuing to work on reinstatement of safety access roads.

Whilst the site remain closed to the public and the trails are not fit to ride, we will be tendering a concession lease for an independent expert group or company to reinstate, develop, maintain, and operate Aston Hill Bike Park.

It will be an excellent opportunity for the successful leaseholder to bring Aston Hill Bike Park back to its former glory and expand the future potential of this unique site by creating new trails and improving the trail network design.

  • When does felling work to remove the diseased trees finish?

Extensive felling work has been completed across the site. The timber has been extracted and removed from site. The car park was re-instated in spring 2023 and this will shortly be followed by extensive re-instatement of the emergency access tracks and fire roads. The site is still CLOSED to the public, please follow all warning and prohibition signage.

  • Is the bike park closing for good? 

No. Forestry England is committed to getting the much-loved and socially important site back to a working and thriving bike park.

However, until work can be completed the site and the trails are closed to keep people safe. The response from the mountain bike community has been fantastic – thank you for your patience whilst the site has remained inaccessible. We fully understand the disappointment around the closure of the popular trails and would like to thank the community, especially Bike Park Chilterns CIC for their ongoing support and understanding. 

  • Why has the Hill been closed for so long? 

Following significant challenges to find contractors to work the site in 2020/21, we made great progress with the first part of the felling process in 2022. Unfortunately the difficult terrain and weather conditions that we experienced during this stage slowed the overall project.  We have now completed this part of the operation and can move forward with re-instatement works, focusing on the car parking area, emergency access and fire roads.

We are working hard to get the site back open. We will be tendering the opportunity in summer / autumn 2023 and will be looking to begin working with the successful contractor to plan and develop the site from autumn / winter 2023. 

Shortly a Public Information Notice will be released to support us to identify potential interested parties prior to going to tender.

We see this as a huge opportunity and are fully committed to getting the site back up and running as a premier downhill mountain bike facility and look forward to working with experts in this field to do so.

Update 21/05/22

Following a recent tree safety assessment at Aston Hill Bike Park, which has identified a large number of ash trees with Chalara ash dieback, we have made the decision to temporarily close the bike park until tree felling works have been completed to remove the worst affected trees.

Our tree safety inspections have identified that a large number of ash trees at the bike park are suffering from Chalara ash dieback (Further information here). Ash dieback is a highly destructive disease of ash trees across Europe, causing crown dieback and mortality and consequently there is a heightened risk to users from falling dead branches and collision with fallen branches or trees. Due to the large numbers involved and the speed of deterioration observed over the past year, it is currently not safe to open the bike park. We plan to bring in specialist tree felling contractors in 2021, with skills and experience in steep ground working, to fell the worst affected ash trees. The felling of the affected trees will be combined with the ‘thinning’ out of trees across the whole site which will benefit the woodland ecology and help maintain tree health for the future. Routine tree harvesting works had already been planned to take place in Autumn 2020 but were delayed and we now hope to start works in the third quarter of 2021. Whilst we will progress the tree felling operations as quickly as possible, it may take 6 months to complete and re-open the bike park.

We are working with Bike Park Chilterns, who have formed a CIC (Community Interest Company), to manage the situation and closure, with the objective of re-opening the park with new investment as soon as it is safe to do so. Due to the length of closure, we have decided to close the current membership scheme and will refund members for the remaining months on their membership (see below for refund arrangements).

We ask all members and non-members to please respect the closure, which is necessary for the safety of users, and to take the opportunity to try out alternative facilities whilst Aston Hill is closed. 

We know this will be very disappointing news for regular user of the bike park but the safety of users has to be our first priority. Unfortunately, we have reached a point where the site needs some investment to address the tree health concern and to improve the trails for the future and a period of closure will be necessary to allow this to happen. Whilst closure will be frustrating, it does offer the opportunity to start a fresh with new investment to secure the long term future of the bike park.


To help answer some of the queries you may have, we have prepared some FAQ’s:

Membership refund arrangements:

You will not need to do anything, we will refund automatically to the payment card used on your original transaction.
We will refund you based on the number of months you have remaining on your membership.
Your refund will be issued within 14 working days
We will also send you a receipt to confirm your refund has been processed and the exact amount to expect.

You can contact us at if you have any queries. You can also find a set of FAQs on our website,

Is the bike park closing for good?

No. Our plans are to complete the felling works and then re-open the bike park with new investment.

Why is the site going to be closed for so long?

To safely fell the affected ash and to thin out the other tree species on site to improve the woodland ecology and maintain tree health, we will need to bring in specialist contractors with skills and experience in steep ground working. We are currently looking into contractor availability and undertaking works planning with the hope of starting work sometime in the third quarter of 2021, but we won’t know the exact timings until suitable contractors have been appointed. If we can complete the works sooner then we will but we think that 6 months is a realistic timeline to complete the works safely, repair the trails and re-invest in the park before re-opening.

Are you going to remove all the trees on site?

No. We will be focusing on the worst affected ash and will also complete planned thinning operations to space out the other tree species on site which will help improve the woodland ecology and maintain tree health. There are a number of other tree species across the site including beech and Norway spruce which will be retained.

Why can’t you use tree surgeons to undertake the works sooner?

Our tree safety management process normally involves an annual survey followed by remedial works undertaken by our own trained chainsaw operators or tree surgeons. The last survey at Aston Hill in January 2020 identified 60 trees of concern whilst the latest survey has identified over 300 trees of concern. The large numbers involved and the difficult terrain means that we need to engage specialist contractors with the right equipment to cost effectively fell the trees. Infected ash also poses a risk to chainsaw operators on the ground as the stems are brittle and dead branches in the crown can fall. Consequently, our risk assessment points to mechanical takedown (eg harvesters) as the preferred option where ever possible.

Will harvesting damage the trails?

Tree felling and removal on steep ground will be a challenging operation and whilst we will ask our contractors to avoid damaging the key trails as much as possible some damage is inevitable. In rebuilding the trails for the future we will work with user group representatives to ensure that the trail network is designed to better allow for future tree harvesting operations.

Is Wendover Woods going to close?

No. Dead and dying trees are a natural component of the forest and in the right place are a welcome part of the forest ecosystem. We undertake tree safety surveys along high public access areas (eg facilities, trails, public roads) to assess the risk and identify remedial works. We are aware of diseased ash at Wendover and other sites and will be monitoring and carrying out remedial actions to keep our visitors safe. Unlike Aston Hill, the trails and facilities at Wendover can be accessed by tree surgeons using elevated platforms which makes management easier.

Where else can ride whilst the bike park is closed?

  • Rushmere Country Park – Riders Ridge Bike Park and 6km XC Trail – 15 miles from Aston Hill
  • Woburn Woods – Woburn Bike Park and the Longslade XC Trail – 23 miles from Aston Hill
  • Chicksands Bike Park – 33 miles from Aston Hill
  • Swinley Forest – 50 miles from Aston Hill
  • Surrey Hills – 60 miles from Aston Hill
  • Rogate B1kePark – 80 miles from Aston Hill