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Off-roaders warned to keep out of Kenfig Nature Reserve

PC Stuart Morgan and PC Darren Morris with an off road motorbike

Illegal off-roaders have been warned to keep out of Kenfig Nature Reserve.




Date: Monday 20th February 2006

SOUTH WALES POLICE ISSUE WARNING TO ILLEGAL "OFF ROADERS" WHO ARE DAMAGING KENFIG NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE

South Wales Police and Bridgend Community Safety Partnership would like to inform the public that the use of motor vehicles and the practice of "Off Roading" on sites of special scientific interest are illegal, without the agreement of the Countryside Council of Wales.

PC Neville Evans and PC Jerry Mackay with a scooter seized from Kenfig Nature Reserve

The practice of illegal "Off Roading" causes real concern to people quietly enjoying the beauty of our natural environment, disturbs wildlife and causes damage to the sensitive habitats, and frustrates responsible motor sport representatives who strive to protect everyone's best interests.

Illegal "Off Roading" activity is responsible for extensive damage to the landscape of the Kenfig National Nature Reserve. Mini motorbikes and quad motor vehicles are also damaging this fragile coastal and sand dune site.

Kenfig National Nature Reserve Manager David Carrington noted "The reserve is a place for quiet public recreation and enjoyment, with important habitats for wildlife. The presence of illegal motor vehicles is harming the reserve for the wider community, and the damage is irreversible, spoiling this site for future generations. The reserve has an international reputation for its specialised habitats and plant communities, that include orchids and rare fungi, which need special protection and care."

David Carrington continues " The illegal motor vehicles also cause extensive noise pollution, and present a danger to the many visitors who come to enjoy this precious place".

Furthermore the practice of illegal "Off Roading" represents clear dangers to the safety of vehicle riders / drivers.

South Wales Police Porthcawl Community Sergeant Jason McGill noted "It is an offence to ride / drive a motor vehicle off road without permission. My policing team will prosecute any body found illegally riding / driving a vehicle within these areas. Furthermore such vehicles will be seized. The Kenfig National Nature Reserve provides a valuable asset to the public of the Bridgend Borough, and South Wales Police, and the reserve staff have and will continue to work in partnership on joint patrols to stop illegal off road activity."

Sergeant Jason McGill continues "The riders / drivers of the motor vehicles must not assume open land is for their own recreation, its not. Furthermore the owners of vehicles like mini motorbikes and quads, when on the roads, are subject to the laws of the Road Traffic Act. This where applicable includes the need for vehicle insurance, MOT's, road tax, number plates, and vehicle lights. It is important that the owners are aware of these legal requirements."

The problem of illegal motor vehicles is also a concern for residential areas that include the Marlas Estate, Bedford Park, and the Pen Y Bryn lanes.

South Wales Police urges community members with any information on the identity of the illegal "Off Roaders" to contact 01656 655 555, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

South Wales Police recommends that any motor vehicle owner who wants to engage in legal "Off Roading" should contact and join specialist clubs, who can offer further advice, and organise events.

A list of such clubs and organisations can be obtained from:
www.acu.org.uk
www.offroad-motorsport.com
www.laragb.org

Full details of sites of special scientific interest can be obtained from: www.ccw.gov.uk

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