A CRACKDOWN has been launched on motorcyclists who practice their scrambling skills by tearing through North Yorkshire’s woodlands.

Police and forest chiefs have joined forces for the blitz and are warning that local woods are strictly off limits to the bikers.

Patrols are being stepped up in Dalby Forest, near Pickering, and Ingleby Greenhowe, near Guisborough, to deter the illegal scramblers, whose activities pose a danger to woodland visitors and wildlife sites.

The Forestry Commission say the problem has escalated recently and they are determined to work with partners to nip the problem in the bud.

The registration plates of some bikers have been recorded and handed to police.

Forestry Commission spokesman Alan Eves 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, horse riders and cyclists 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.”

PC Andy Marsden added: “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.

“Anyone found riding or driving in the forestry on or off road can be dealt with in a number of ways from fixed penalty tickets, vehicle seizures and potentially arrest and detention.”

Anyone with information about such activities should call police on 101, the Forestry Commission on 01751-472771 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800-555-111.

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