Illegal Flintshire off-road bikers put people and animals at risk

Reporter:

Matt Jones

RECKLESS motorcyclists have been putting walkers and animals at risk by riding at a beauty spot.

Police are investigating after seven bikes were spotted ‘offroading‘ on Halkyn Mountain Common, tearing up land and posing a danger to walkers and sheep.

Riders coming from as far as Liverpool and Manchester have been seen on parts of the 2,000-acre Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Brynford and Halkyn.

Rachel Watson, Halkyn Mountain Common ranger, said due to the layout of the land riders could suddenly come across walkers increasing the chance of accidents.

She said: “The common is building in popularity with the bikers. There is a chance of harm to local people and dog walkers.

“There are 1,500 sheep grazing on the mountain and they are easily scattered by walkers so you can imagine what the sound of a motorbike would do.

“There is a danger to the common itself, it is dangerous for the grassland and heathland which is protected.

“It is a mixture of local people, who know it is illegal but who still ride their bikes, and then we have people from further a field including Manchester and Liverpool.

“At the moment the land does not show the damage these bikes are capable of causing due to the very dry conditions we are experiencing at the moment.

“Had we had rain recently it would be entirely different.”

Motorcyclists were seen on Sunday but problems had first been reported by local residents in March.

Brynford councillor Matt Wright said he was looking at trying to increase provision for motorcyclists to take part in legitimate riding.

PC Suzanne Carrington said: "Although it is common land it is protected as a SSSI and no-one has permission to ride their bike there.

"We would urge people not to do it as they will be prosecuted and their bikes will be seized and crushed.

“We are currently investigating reports of seven bikes being seen on the site on Sunday afternoon.”

Anybody with information should call North Wales Police on 101.

See full story in the Leader

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