'Selfish' off-road drivers making South Lakeland beauty spot impassable - police

The Westmorland Gazette: 'Selfish' off-road drivers making South Lakeland beauty spot impassable - police 'Selfish' off-road drivers making South Lakeland beauty spot impassable - police

A SOUTH Lakeland beauty spot and popular walking area has become impassable in parts because of ‘selfish’ off-road drivers, according to police.

Officers said the Kendal side of the Helm, at Oxenholme, had been ‘scarred’ and ‘churned up’ by people performing stunts in vehicles on the saturated ground.

Offenders, who police believe use the land when it’s dark, are being warned they are risking their safety by doing so.

And they have been told they could have their vehicles taken off them and be given a hefty fine.

Sergeant John Stephens, of Cumbria Police, said: “I am a regular walker on the Helm, as are many other members of the community.

“Some areas of the Helm have become impassable, even on foot, because of the selfish behaviour of others.

“Looking at some of the tracks, it is obvious there is a real danger of drivers losing control.

“They risk their vehicles turning over, causing serious injury to drivers, passengers and anybody who happens to be in the area.

“It is believed that most, if not all, of these incidents are occurring during the hours of darkness.

“If anybody in the area, whether walking or local residents, sees any vehicle being driven off road onto the Helm then please make a note of the registration number and contact Kendal Police on 101.”

A Cumbria Police spokesman said: “Police officers would like to remind motorists that driving off road without lawful authority is an offence which carries the risk of a heavy fine and even having their vehicles seized.”

Friends of the Lake District bought part of the eastern side of the Helm in 2007 in a bid to open up public access and improve the landscape for nature conservation.

And, although the damage pictured is on land not owned by the charity, it echoed Sgt Stephens' comments.

Communications officer Dawn Groundsell said: “We are concerned that the selfish and illegal actions of a few people should make parts of the Helm impassable for the many people who use it every day, causing a danger to themselves, passers-by, wildlife and grazing animals in the area.”

Comments (25)

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1:02am Thu 3 Jan 13

hemyfan says...

Lock them up and throw away the ignition key.
Lock them up and throw away the ignition key. hemyfan
  • Score: 0

2:20am Thu 3 Jan 13

timbermagic says...

o look on the other page . some ones got lost on the fells and needed rescuing ........lets either leave them there or fence the fells off . cost of rescuing IDIOTS ????? a **** sight more than bit of mud . and a lot more danger to people and dogs of the rescue teams etc
o look on the other page . some ones got lost on the fells and needed rescuing ........lets either leave them there or fence the fells off . cost of rescuing IDIOTS ????? a **** sight more than bit of mud . and a lot more danger to people and dogs of the rescue teams etc timbermagic
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Thu 3 Jan 13

SpikeIt says...

There is no connection between idiots damaging The Helm by driving on it and people getting lost on the fells so why try and divert attention to a separate issue?
There is no connection between idiots damaging The Helm by driving on it and people getting lost on the fells so why try and divert attention to a separate issue? SpikeIt
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Thu 3 Jan 13

WilliamT says...

If I lived nearby I would be only too pleased to report the registration numbers on 101- however, my experience with reporting things to the police is that they just say "your report is not proof. Goodbye". I suspect they would not act even if a photograph was provided.
If I lived nearby I would be only too pleased to report the registration numbers on 101- however, my experience with reporting things to the police is that they just say "your report is not proof. Goodbye". I suspect they would not act even if a photograph was provided. WilliamT
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Thu 3 Jan 13

nixon1 says...

I have seen the vehicle a few times in the past few months trying to access this section of the Helm, not being able to get past the first single track section past the off road car park. I don't remember the reg but it's a young lad impressing his girlfriend and friends. Ill be taking a number plate for sure next time.
I have seen the vehicle a few times in the past few months trying to access this section of the Helm, not being able to get past the first single track section past the off road car park. I don't remember the reg but it's a young lad impressing his girlfriend and friends. Ill be taking a number plate for sure next time. nixon1
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Thu 3 Jan 13

zaney5 says...

Probably the same idiots that hang around ASDA car park at night reving their engines and trying to be cool. If only they realised how stupid they looked!
Probably the same idiots that hang around ASDA car park at night reving their engines and trying to be cool. If only they realised how stupid they looked! zaney5
  • Score: 0

3:39pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Kendmoor says...

with timbermagic's response it smacks of someone who knows something about it - might be worth handing his IP/reg details over to the rozzers for a couple of questions and a look at his vehicle! ;)

I agree with zaney, you'd think they'd realise that no matter what the age of people in the vicinity, as soon as they rev or drive off at speed the only person they impress is themselves - the rest of the planet instantly just thinks "****" - no exceptions. The harder the rev, or faster they drive...the bigger the **** they are in the onlooker/hearers mind. Simple maths.
with timbermagic's response it smacks of someone who knows something about it - might be worth handing his IP/reg details over to the rozzers for a couple of questions and a look at his vehicle! ;) I agree with zaney, you'd think they'd realise that no matter what the age of people in the vicinity, as soon as they rev or drive off at speed the only person they impress is themselves - the rest of the planet instantly just thinks "****" - no exceptions. The harder the rev, or faster they drive...the bigger the **** they are in the onlooker/hearers mind. Simple maths. Kendmoor
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Thu 3 Jan 13

nixon1 says...

I'm going to have to disagree. The Cars that hang around in the car parks have often had their suspension lowered and various other cosmetics done to appear road race worthy. I very much doubt it is these same vehicles that are able to access the above pictured section of the helm, let alone get over the cattle grids.
I'm going to have to disagree. The Cars that hang around in the car parks have often had their suspension lowered and various other cosmetics done to appear road race worthy. I very much doubt it is these same vehicles that are able to access the above pictured section of the helm, let alone get over the cattle grids. nixon1
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Kendmoor says...

I should clarify that I was agreeing with Zaney on the point that they look (and sound) stupid - pretty clear that any of those cars would get stuck in seconds.
I should clarify that I was agreeing with Zaney on the point that they look (and sound) stupid - pretty clear that any of those cars would get stuck in seconds. Kendmoor
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Thu 3 Jan 13

tictoc1 says...

Which part of the Helm is this? Is it right at the top?
Which part of the Helm is this? Is it right at the top? tictoc1
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Thu 3 Jan 13

I know nothing says...

Years ago they used to have Hill Climbs for motor bikes on Helm.

Perhaps if most of the local Green Lanes had not been downgraded 4x4 drivers would have somewhere to go.
Years ago they used to have Hill Climbs for motor bikes on Helm. Perhaps if most of the local Green Lanes had not been downgraded 4x4 drivers would have somewhere to go. I know nothing
  • Score: 0

5:33pm Thu 3 Jan 13

zaney5 says...

I know nothing wrote:
Years ago they used to have Hill Climbs for motor bikes on Helm.

Perhaps if most of the local Green Lanes had not been downgraded 4x4 drivers would have somewhere to go.
And perhaps said 4x4 drivers should abide by the law and stop being so selfish.
[quote][p][bold]I know nothing[/bold] wrote: Years ago they used to have Hill Climbs for motor bikes on Helm. Perhaps if most of the local Green Lanes had not been downgraded 4x4 drivers would have somewhere to go.[/p][/quote]And perhaps said 4x4 drivers should abide by the law and stop being so selfish. zaney5
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Thu 3 Jan 13

WilliamT says...

Agreed. We don't want 4WD vehicles to have anywhere to go other than roads.
Agreed. We don't want 4WD vehicles to have anywhere to go other than roads. WilliamT
  • Score: 0

6:52pm Thu 3 Jan 13

Kendmoor says...

Loosing the distinction there a little there William.
Loosing the distinction there a little there William. Kendmoor
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Thu 3 Jan 13

fourcandles says...

These complete idiots are causing environmental vandalism on a grand scale. They are giving 4x4 drivers a bad name and should be ashamed. I regularly walk my dogs on the helm day and night and have been trying to spot them for a while. Just hope they are caught soon and justice is done. Watch out idiots.
These complete idiots are causing environmental vandalism on a grand scale. They are giving 4x4 drivers a bad name and should be ashamed. I regularly walk my dogs on the helm day and night and have been trying to spot them for a while. Just hope they are caught soon and justice is done. Watch out idiots. fourcandles
  • Score: 0

2:34am Fri 4 Jan 13

timbermagic says...

kendmoor ..... go a head and report me to the police because you have no idea how much your barking up the wrong tree.
kendmoor ..... go a head and report me to the police because you have no idea how much your barking up the wrong tree. timbermagic
  • Score: 0

5:39am Fri 4 Jan 13

searcher21c says...

How do we know that this has been caused by 4wd vehicles?
How do we know that this has been caused by 4wd vehicles? searcher21c
  • Score: 0

9:31am Fri 4 Jan 13

Adam_Kendal says...

Question: With Helme being "Common Land" would the offenders be liable to prosecution if caught?

Please don’t think for one second that I am on the side of these vandals, I’m not. I also frequently walk my dogs up there, but I am just curious. Besides, my Herbie Van wouldn’t get up there!

Since most “commons” are based on ancient rights, that is to say “common law”, which pre-date “statute law” laid down by parliament, is there a law which could be used to prosecute the offenders?

The land on the Kendal side of Helme is owned by a “Commoner(s)” (Owners of the land), would they need to bring an accusation of Criminal Damage instead of the Police trying to prosecute them using rules of the road as I am sure the rules of the road would not apply in this case.
Question: With Helme being "Common Land" would the offenders be liable to prosecution if caught? Please don’t think for one second that I am on the side of these vandals, I’m not. I also frequently walk my dogs up there, but I am just curious. Besides, my Herbie Van wouldn’t get up there! Since most “commons” are based on ancient rights, that is to say “common law”, which pre-date “statute law” laid down by parliament, is there a law which could be used to prosecute the offenders? The land on the Kendal side of Helme is owned by a “Commoner(s)” (Owners of the land), would they need to bring an accusation of Criminal Damage instead of the Police trying to prosecute them using rules of the road as I am sure the rules of the road would not apply in this case. Adam_Kendal
  • Score: 0

10:03am Fri 4 Jan 13

nixon1 says...

tictoc1 wrote:
Which part of the Helm is this? Is it right at the top?
It's in the flat dipped section half way between the 2 highest north and south points by the boundary wall seperating the front and back of the Helm.

It's not that i have anything against 4x4 vehicles and off road persuits but there is a big difference between legally driving down an rough terrain farmers owned lane (providing permission is given) and going round and round in circles for 20 minutes and causing a great amount of environmental damage.
[quote][p][bold]tictoc1[/bold] wrote: Which part of the Helm is this? Is it right at the top?[/p][/quote]It's in the flat dipped section half way between the 2 highest north and south points by the boundary wall seperating the front and back of the Helm. It's not that i have anything against 4x4 vehicles and off road persuits but there is a big difference between legally driving down an rough terrain farmers owned lane (providing permission is given) and going round and round in circles for 20 minutes and causing a great amount of environmental damage. nixon1
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Fri 4 Jan 13

tictoc1 says...

Thanks nixon1.
Adam_Kendal, I was wondering the same? Would it need to be the land owner/s that would need to complain? Or have they done already, hence why the police are involved?
Thanks nixon1. Adam_Kendal, I was wondering the same? Would it need to be the land owner/s that would need to complain? Or have they done already, hence why the police are involved? tictoc1
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Mud lover.com says...

I am sorry but seriously some of these comments are redickuless! Lock them up? Really people!! And it is not impossible to walk over ruts and I would be more bothered about the amout of dog poo around and think we should be doing something about that then anything else! I stopped walking my dog up there coz very were you step there was dog poo how about the police do something about instead of all this silly stuff !!!!!!!!!!
I am sorry but seriously some of these comments are redickuless! Lock them up? Really people!! And it is not impossible to walk over ruts and I would be more bothered about the amout of dog poo around and think we should be doing something about that then anything else! I stopped walking my dog up there coz very were you step there was dog poo how about the police do something about instead of all this silly stuff !!!!!!!!!! Mud lover.com
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Sat 5 Jan 13

zaney5 says...

I'm glad you think it's silly. It'll be very silly if someone is involved in an accident.

Does that sound "redickuless" to you?
I'm glad you think it's silly. It'll be very silly if someone is involved in an accident. Does that sound "redickuless" to you? zaney5
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Sat 5 Jan 13

Mud lover.com says...

Lift is for living not to be controlled
Lift is for living not to be controlled Mud lover.com
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Sun 6 Jan 13

zaney5 says...

I'll take you seriously when you learn to spell.
I'll take you seriously when you learn to spell. zaney5
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Sun 6 Jan 13

Ladyxxmacbeth says...

Mud, mud, glorious mud. Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood....
Mud, mud, glorious mud. Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.... Ladyxxmacbeth
  • Score: 0

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