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Circulation area for leisure and sport, or what can be the same…


It must have as Objective The development of a space for sport and leisure, provided for in the current legislation, to be able to practice motorized sports in the natural environment in a sustainable way and that cause the minimum of inconvenience to the inhabitants of the territory, but we would have to make a little history…

Catalonia has been characterized for many years by a mountain culture unique in Europe, with A forest property that has been especially generous to those of us who have enjoyed the natural spaces. Catalans have used private property as a leisure space for many years, in a natural way and without too much controversy.

When the first mountain bikes appeared during the 60s, the spirit of generosity of forest property did not change, due to the lack of overcrowding at the time.

During the 1980s, the first conflicts appeared with the appearance of a new vehicle on the market. The 4×4, which until then had been agricultural vehicles, became leisure vehicles, and users with little roots in the territory accessed the natural environment in an easy and, on many occasions, unethical way.

The expansion of trials and enduro during these years turned the territory into a large leisure space, free of charge, and the first frictions began to arise between users of motor vehicles, other users of the natural environment, ecologists and owners.

Forest ownership began to see its forests threatened. The user ceased to be a person of his own territory, and a new type of practitioner, with little culture of the natural environment and little knowledge of the environment, accesses points that he had not accessed until then.

Faced with this situation, in 1995 Law 9/1995 of 27 July 1995 on motorised access to the natural environment (DOGC 2082 of 2-8-95) was approved, and in 1998 Decree 166/1998 of 8 July 1998 on the regulation of access motorized to the natural environment (DOGC 2680, 07.14.78).

This Law on Motorized Access to the Natural Environment provides that specific circuits can be created and developed for motorized circulation:

Arinsal3 BonaiguaArticle 12 Trial Areas. Specific circuits for motorized circulation.

Municipalities are empowered to establish, ex officio or at the request of landowners in the municipality, specific circuits appropriate to the characteristics of certain types of motor vehicles. The establishment of this type of circuits, which may not affect land included in the Plan of Areas of Natural Interest, must be submitted to the consideration of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, in accordance with the procedures established by regulation, without prejudice to the authorization that corresponds to the Department of the Interior, according to Law 10/1990. of 15 June.

The establishment of the circuits referred to in paragraph 1 shall be subject to the environmental impact assessment procedure.

Decree 166/1998 of 8 July 1998, regulating motorised access to the natural environment, develops the areas of sport and leisure.

Article 15. Circulation areas for leisure and sports.

The municipalities, ex officio at the request of individuals or interested entities and following a report from the corresponding regional office of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, they may declare certain areas of land within their territory as temporary circulation areas for leisure and sport, without prejudice to the provisions of urban planning legislation.

The application for the declaration of these spaces must be accompanied by an explanatory report of the characteristics of the area and the applicable traffic regulations, the documentation accrediting their ownership, the corresponding identification plan of their location, and the authorisation of the owners of the affected land.

The declaration of a space as a circulation area for leisure and sport may entail exemption from the prohibitions and limitations referred to in articles 6, 7 and 10 of this Decree.

Article 16. Itineraries for mountain biking.

The municipalities, ex officio at the request of federated sports clubs and after a report from the corresponding regional office of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, may delimit in their municipality a plan of roads suitable for circulation and the practice of mountain biking. This delimitation will indicate the existing links with the areas referred to in the previous article.

The authorisation of these routes is governed by the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of the previous article.

The purpose of creating an area is to take advantage of the options provided in the current Legislation on motorized access to the natural environment, which also allows the creation of specific areas and links between them, in order to use the natural environment as a leisure space in a sustainable way and take advantage of the resources generated by the maintenance and improvement of the forest space.

All that said… Is it easy to create an area for trial practice?

Nothing is easy in this life and even less cheap, and even more so when many times the issue is complicated with officials from “three to four”, who are only concerned about complying with the file. From MOTOCAT we have not stopped working, we have tried several times To get the desired area or space where all the tests and/or trial events can be located and organized that we’ve set out to do, but we have always “clashed” with an administration that is NOT willing to collaborate (Isòvol City Council 21/11/2011; Vacarisses Town Hall 11/04/2012; Cabrils City Council 02/01/2013) etc.

I assure you that, if everything were not so complicated or we had an area where we could organize trials, without so many requirements and formalities, another rooster would crow, or at least, we would have better it to train.

David has provided the means to channel any comments, but if you want to make it more personalized, you will always find me at

Lots of zeros!

Victor Martin

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