The Westmorland GazettePolice clampdown on illegal off-road driving in Barrow (From The Westmorland Gazette)

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Police clampdown on illegal off-road driving in Barrow

The Westmorland Gazette: Police clampdown on illegal off-road driving in Barrow Police clampdown on illegal off-road driving in Barrow

POLICE are continuing to work with partner agencies in their clampdown of illegal off-road driving.

Police have received numerous complaints of 'off-roading' by members of the public throughout Barrow-in-Furness in locations such as The Vulcan Bowl and the nature reserves around the town.

The Barrow Borough Neighbourhood Policing Team would like to remind individuals 'that such anti-social behaviour can spoil those areas and reserves and cause damage.'

This is shown in the above picture that shows a vehicle that drove in to the sand dunes at Sandscale. The driver, a 24-year-old man from Barrow, has been prosecuted and dealt with by way of a fixed penalty ticket.

Police concerns are echoed by the wardens of the reserves. The nearby Sandscale Haws NNR also records regular incidents involving off-road vehicles and motorbikes.

National Trust Ranger Neil Forbes, who has passed video and photos to the police highlighting the problem, said: “Since starting joint patrols with the police two years ago we have seen a significant reduction in the number of incidents recorded.

"However, we do still witness damage to extremely fragile sand dune and salt-marsh habitats and have even seen rare species like the Natterjack Toad run over by a vehicle.

"This issue also affects everybody’s enjoyment of the site – even when you can’t see the vehicles the noise has an impact and many visitors tell us that they are concerned for their safety.”

Natural England’s senior reserve manager, Steve Benn said: “The small numbers of irresponsible visitors who drive vehicles onto the North Walney NNR need to be aware that their actions are illegal and result in a negative impact on the sensitive habitats and on our local and migratory wildlife.

"This site is important for resident and visiting birds and they need to be free from disturbance while they are busy in their day to day activities such as nesting, roosting and feeding."

The Barrow Borough NPT has agreed to maintain the effective joint patrols with reserve managers to present a united front against this type of illegal activity.

PC Karen Park said: “It’s about making people aware of the problem. People just think they are coming down for a bit of fun, but they don’t realise the damage they cause to this fragile environment.”

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