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Anger over illegal woodland scramblers at Dalby Forest
ILLEGAL and dangerous off-road motorbikers in Dalby Forest are to be targeted in a clampdown by police and park bosses.
Forest chiefs say patrols will be stepped up in woodland near Pickering, and Ingleby Greenhowe near Guisborough, to deter the scrambling bikers, whose activities are said to pose a danger to woodland visitors and wildlife sites.
The Forestry Commission said the problem has escalated recently and, although not as bad as a few years ago when a multi-agency operation was launched to deter the bikers, the commission said it was determined to “nip the problem in the bud”.
The clampdown has so far seen the registration plates of some bikers recorded and handed to police.
Alan Eves, of the Forestry Commission, said: “There is a very good reason why we don’t allow unauthorised motorised vehicles on Forestry Commission land – they can be a menace to the environment and to other woodland users.
“Dalby in particular is a very popular woodland with walkers, horseriders and cyclist and motorbikers have been spotted deep in the forest.
“We would ask those engaged in this kind of activity to stop and think about they are doing. We are determined to work closely with the police and North York Moors National Park to tackle the problem.”
PC Andy Marsden, from North Yorkshire Police, said: “Illegal use of off-road 4x4s and motorbikes compromises the safety of walkers and other authorised users of the forests. We will investigate reports of damage and nuisance and carry out regular patrols with partner agencies to combat this illegal nuisance.”
He said: “Anyone found riding or driving in the forest on or off-road can be dealt with in a number of ways from fixed penalty tickets, vehicle seizures and potentially arrest and detention. If anyone has information on illegal activities we would urge them to call their local Safer Neighbourhood Team officer or Crime Stoppers.”
If you can help, phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, North Yorkshire Police on 101, or the Forestry Commission on 01751 472771.