Action is to be taken to try and stop off-road bikers defacing a popular green space and conservation area near Worksop.
The bikers have been descending illegally on Manton Pit Wood, targeting in particular a long-standing hotspot known as the ‘sand bowl’ at the south tip, which they reach from a layby on the nearby A57.
But now, Nottinghamshire County Council has temporarily closed the south tip and has begun work on installing new signs, metal fencing and CCTV cameras in a bid to prevent the unauthorised use of the wood.
Coun John Cottee said: “Manton Pit Wood is not for off-road bikers, nor has it ever been, and using the site in this way is illegal.
“Public safety is our number one concern, and that’s why we’ve taken the tough decision to close the south tip.
“Over the years, the council and volunteers have worked hard to rejuvenate the wood, restoring the tracks and trails, enhancing wildlife habitats and creating new areas of heath. So, we don’t want this hard work and funding to be wasted by people abusing the site.”
Manton Pit Wood, which lies to the south-east of Worksop, comprises the restored colliery spoil heaps of the former Manton pit, which closed in 1994.
It is a mixture of woodland and grassland, and the habitat of wildlife and wildflowers. The area is popular with walkers, runners, cyclists and people walking their dogs.
As well as signs warning the off-road bikers, the wood will now be regularly patrolled and inspected by police officers. Community protection notices will be issued to any bikers found using the site illegally.