Clampdown on illegal access

Motorists who illegally access national forest estate woodlands in North East Scotland 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 stop illegal unauthorised access.

Neil Taylor, Recreation Ranger with FES said;

“Unauthorised access with motorised vehicles is illegal, dangerous and a sure fire way to spoil 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.

“Quite simply this is anti-social behaviour and we want to put a stop to it. Our partnership with Police Scotland has had some impact 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.

Neil added;

“A great example of how to do things properly is the Bon Accord Motor Cycle Club, with which we have a good working relationship. They regularly approach us with ideas for events and to seek permissions and – after discussing relevant issues and agreeing some conditions of use, we are happy for them to make use of local forests.”

Sgt Mark Conner, for Police Scotland, said;

“We are determined to work with Forest Enterprise Scotland to tackle this 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.

“This type of behaviour is not only putting themselves at risk of serious or fatal injury but also other members of the public who are enjoying our Forests. 

“Members of the public who witness such illegal activity are encouraged to report this through Police Scotlands non-emergency line – 101. They should report as much detail as possible including location, registration, colour of vehicle and detail of the driver/riders clothing.”

If you are interested in finding out how to gain permitted access to national forest estate sites for off-road driving, contact the team at Moray & Aberdeenshire and together we can make the Forests of the North East safe for everyone to use.

Notes to editors

  1. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  2. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forest Enterprise Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.