TWO women have been spoken to by police after tree branches were laid across a woodland path used by mountain bikers.

Nathan Cartwright, 17, from Leyburn is a competitive mountain biker who although missing out on postponed national contests, still rides daily. A media student at QE College in Darlington, his training ride takes him along his favourite route through the woods at Preston under Scar.

Over the last week he had noticed tree branches laid dangerously, obstructing the track but removed them in order to prevent injury to himself or others.

Matters came to a head on Saturday, May 8 in the late afternoon. Riding along the track it was once again blocked in several places by branches and stones.

Seeing two women nearby walking together with their untethered dogs, he asked them if they were responsible. They then launched into a verbal tirade accusing him of "trespassing" and "not being local".

The entire incident which was recorded by the young cyclist’s helmet-mounted video camera. In the five minute clip the two women admit to laying the branches.

Adam Cartwright, the boy’s father, was incensed by their actions. He explained: “My son was born and raised in Leyburn; he has a passion for mountain biking and the outdoors, picks up litter others have left, and respects the countryside where we live.

“He has been going out once every day on his own, observing the social distancing rules as a responsible young man.

“When he politely asked what they were doing, these two older ladies who were walking together, not from the same family and not following the Government rules as responsible adults, admitting they do this daily and just started shouting at him. Their dogs were not on a lead and it is the ground bird nesting season.

“Just because you are of a certain age, it does not give them the right to talk to my son as they did and he or anyone else could have been injured.

“I am disappointed they aren’t being prosecuted by the police as the evidence is all in the video, I believe the huge media coverage will hopefully make them think twice about ever doing something so dangerous again future.”

Undeterred, Nathan has returned to his daily routine through the woods.

A police spokesman said: “Officers have looked into the incident and spoken to all those involved.”