Teamwork to clamp down on off-roaders

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Malcolm Kinross (Police Scotland) and Calum Murray (Forest Enterprise Scotland) were joined by representatives of the Bon Accord Motorcycle Club, which accesses the national forest estate by agreement with FES.

 

Motorbike riders and four by four drivers who illegally access national forest estate woodlands in Aberdeenshire face prosecution in a clamp down on anti-social behaviour.

Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) has teamed up with Police Scotland to deal with the issue in a bid to encourage off-roaders to obtain the correct licence and permissions.

Dan Cadle, Recreation Forester with FES said;

“It’s an issue in Aberdeenshire that we want to put a stop to. It’s dangerous and spoils other people’s enjoyment of the forests.

"Last year, recklessly driven motorbikes spooked horses, causing them to throw off and seriously injure their riders. One horse then ran out onto public roads and was also injured.

“It’s antisocial behaviour and we intend to make full use of the law to get the message across that it will not be tolerated.”

FES encourages off-road biking and driving enthusiasts to get organised and join an official club.

Dan added;

“A great example of how to do things properly is the Bon Accord Motor Cycle Club, which approached us for a permit to hold an event in Fetteresso Forest near Stonehaven.

“After discussing the matter with them and agreeing some conditions of use, we were happy for them to make use of Fetteresso.”

Inspector Fionnuala McPhail, for Police Scotland, said;

“We are determined to work with Forest Enterprise Scotland to tackle this extreme anti-social behaviour.

“Not only is it illegal for unauthorised motor vehicles to access these forests but some of the people who do so are driving recklessly at speed across terrain that is more than likely not appropriate for this type of activity.

“They are putting themselves – and members of the public - at serious risk of life changing or even life threatening accidents.

“Members of the public who witness such illegal activity are encouraged to report this through Police Scotlands non-emergency line – 101.”

If you are interested in finding out how to gain permitted access to national forest estate sites for off-road driving, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at Moray & Aberdeenshire.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.