Scout Moor is one of the many striking natural features in our area; one which is enjoyed by thousands of people. However, this beautiful landscape is constantly being damaged by the illegal and dangerous activity of off-road bikers. These riders can arrive in Norden from as far afield as Merseyside, with vans full of bikes which they use to race up and down the moorland.
Their actions are naturally dangerous to other moorland users and I am regularly contacted by walkers, cyclists and horse riders who have come face-to-face with riders who show no consideration or courtesy to them as they speed around.
The result of these off-road vehicles is clear to see. The natural peat moorland is being eroded and torn up by the tyres as they cut across open areas and moorland trails have been rendered unusable as they are churned up into rutted mud tracks.
So I was glad that, following concerns raised at recent area forum events, the latest activity in an ongoing operation, took place this weekend. The operation is coordinated by Greater Manchester Police with the support of landowners, United Utilities, who have proven themselves to be very proactive and responsible landowners and community partners.
As a result of this weekends activity, a number of people were spoken to by officers and several off-road vehicles were seized to be crushed. This may seem like a harsh consequence, but these riders know that they are breaking the law and are fully aware of the consequences. GMP say that by crushing their vehicles they have a high profile deterrent and can ensure that they can never appear back on the moorland.
I would like to extend my thanks to the officers form both GMP and United Utilities for their hard work and dedication to ensuring that our moorland is both protected from damage and maintained as a safe environment for other, responsible recreational users.