Watch Winds of Change by Manon Carpenter Here.

Manon Carpenter heads north and east to check out the effects of last year’s winter storms in her latest film, Winds of Change.

Manon Carpenter investigates the ongoing effects of the winter storms of late 2021 and early 2022, with a look at how trail associations can bridge the gap between user demand and forestry resources.

From November 2021 to February 2022, a series of powerful storms rocked areas of the UK in ways that had not been seen since the hurricane of 1987, 34 years earlier. Whole towns and villages were cut off from power, heating, running water and mobile phone reception. Further to the immediate impact on lives, an estimated 16 million trees were blown over blocking roads, flattening forestry plantations,  destroying vehicles and starting a long term impact on recreation provisions. 

18 months on, the operations to alleviate the impact of the storms continue.  Many forests remain closed to mountain bikers, with trails buried under a twisted maze of unstable timber.  Some may be lost forever, leaving the raconteurs to wax lyrical of days gone by.  All, however, is not lost. 

While some areas and communities are sitting in limbo as to whether their hallowed spaces and revered trails will reopen, others have managed to stride forward thanks to a progressive, collaborative approach with land managers. 

In this Soil Searching film, trail and environmental advocate Manon Carpenter takes a journey of discovery to two of the worst affected regions in the UK, Northumberland and Aberdeenshire, to see how these passionate communities have been affected.  Through practical actions and sharing of stoke, Manon learns how mountain bikers are adapting to a more extreme climate in an effort to secure a long term future for their trails and quality of life. 

You can read Pete’s Norwegian reindeer safari with Manon thanks to Any Excuse to Ride on our Features page here.