When news happens, text ROMS and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Cyclists ruining Forest
10:10am Tuesday 27th March 2012 in News
GUARDIANS of the New Forest are demanding a crackdown on illegal cycling amid claims that the area is becoming a huge adventure playground.
The Verderers have responded to a growing number of complaints about cyclists flouting the rules and riding through environmentally-sensitive areas – even at night.
The organisation is calling on the Forestry Commission to tackle the issue by enforcing its own rules.
Speaking at the monthly Court of Verderers yesterday, the Official Verderer, Dominic May, said: “We’re not anti-cycling, but we are anti illegal cycling, which for us means cycling on the open Forest, or on a track that does not form part of the approved cycle network.
“We ask the Forestry Commission to enforce its own by-laws to stop illegal cycling, which is being observed on a daily basis.”
Former head agister, Brian Ingram, said more than 20 cyclists were seen riding between Hilltop and Dibden Purlieu on Tuesday night.
He added: “This is a working forest, but it’s becoming a glorified playground. It’s time the Forestry Commission put a stop to it. The Forest should be asleep at night.”
But Kevin Penfold, acting deputy surveyor and the Forestry Commission’s top official in the Forest, said the organisers had given the authorities plenty of notice.
“As a result, people participating in the event have very clear instructions to ensure sensitive sites are safeguarded and conflicts with other Forest users avoided,” he said.