THE National Trust has launched its new £3 million off-road cycle trails at its Lanhydrock estate, with predictions that they will attract thousands of new visitors to the area.
Ten kilometres of trails have been created through the estate, along with a base for a cycle hire business, a new café, extensive parking, a cycle skills area, a special track for young children learning to cycle and a play area.
It has not been without controversy; a vociferous Save Lanhydrock' campaign condemned the scheme as a blight on the environment, destroying trees and drawing unsustainable volumes of visitors and road traffic.
However, in January 2013 Cornwall councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans.
Bodmin Town Council also supported the cycle trails, saying it hoped they could one day be extended through the town to link up with the Camel Trail.
On Monday Bodmin's mayor Ken Stubbs cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the cycle hub.
Last year 15km of cycle trails were opened at nearby Cardinham Woods by the Forestry Commission. Like the Lanhydrock development, they form part of the 1 South West Cycling Project.
Rebecca Brookes-Sullivan, Lanhydrock's general manager, said: "This will be an exciting year and we're delighted to be able to offer locals and tourists these great new facilities and a chance to enjoy some of the previously unexplored parts of this wonderful estate.
"The reinstatement of the 18th-century carriage drive as the principal entrance to Lanhydrock is also a significant conservation gain.
"The creation of the cycle hub, costing £3 million, has involved a huge number of people and we've had funding support from many organisations. I must add special mentions to the SITA Cornwall Trust and Sport England who have supported the children's play area and cycle skills area respectively."
Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club, Callestick Farm Cornish Dairy Ice Cream and Clive Mitchell Cycles are sponsoring maintenance of the cycle trails for the next five years.
Mark Harold, the National Trust's regional director, said: "Our outdoor spaces are among our greatest natural treasures, and we want to play our part in reconnecting people with them.
"Well-managed off-road cycling facilities encourage people to enjoy the unique delights of spending time outdoors in remarkable landscapes."