There are 3-4 stand out events in this area; The Montane Cheviot Goat, The MOD Rocker, The Duerger Run and The Naughty Northumbrian. Slightly further afield you start to see evets like the Dirty Reiver, The Kielder Marathon and Allendale Challenge.
All the events cover differing markets but all have a large cross-over base of participants.
We can't speak for the other events, but the Naughty Northumbrian has grown by 102% in terms competitors between 2017 and 2019, (1020 riders) which clearly demonstrates a desire for access to these expansive spaces.
With that said, events can also have a negative impact. To mitigate that we think a good starting point is:
1) Review the events direct and indirect environmental and economical footprints.
2) Form a cross-stakeholder (Land owners, farmers, NGO's, Gvt and public bodies, event organisers) consensus on integrating a sustainable event into the long term economy, community and ecology of the area.
3) Communicate with riders about why and how we are doing what we do. Build ownership in the community.
4) Form a charity trail association to manage trails, widen access to the local community, finances, and liaise with land owners in a more streamlined way.
A GVA report for the Naughty Northumbrian revealed that the event brought a boost of £148,000 to the local economy (within a 50 miles radius).
These numbers aren't huge - but lets look at the perspective. If, as an event we can provide 4-6k to individual and multiple land owners that does not come of the bottom line, we can redefine the expectation of rural land economics.
Furthermore, as a marketing agency, we believe that direct investment in regional economy and ecology presents an opportunity equal to traditional sponsorship at this current point.
We've seen multiple outdoor brands support inter-continental schemes (A global approach is a good thing) but trusted regional partners, who demonstrate clear vision can provide an invaluable and positive touch point for brands through events and community engagement.
There is also a double boost for brands looking to tackle their footprint. Where partners have good knowledge of the viability of tree-planting, blanket peat bog restoration and other schemes as a reliable carbon sink in the locality, this should not be ignored.
Forest fires etc..make tree planting an important but uncertain global strategy (Gössling et al., 2007) - so why not plan a site visit, engage and work with local partners?