Three teenagers had their off-road motorbikes confiscated by police after they were caught riding illegally in Gethin Woods near Merthyr Tydfil recently.
Natural Resources Wales officers were alerted to the activities of the group following a tip-off from ramblers walking nearby and immediately called South Wales Police.
Officers arrived quickly on the scene to catch the young men who were riding recklessly in the woods less than a mile from the recently opened Bike Park Wales mountain bike centre.
Natural Resources Wales works closely with South Wales Police to target people illegally riding scrambler bikes on public land, which causes damage to the environment and puts other woodland users at risk.
The riders were spotted earlier on the Bike Park Wales trails, where just one scrambler bike can run up massive repair bills, reducing the ability to expand this new attraction which brings welcome investment to the area.
When they were apprehended, police discovered one of the two bikes had no number plates, tax or insurance and the other machine – although road legal – was also seized as its owner had previously been arrested for riding illegally.
Peter Cloke of Natural Resources Wales said:
“These bikers cause a nuisance to other forest users in terms of both noise pollution and riding recklessly.
“To gain entry they often cause thousands of pounds of damage to perimeter fencing, which has to be repaired, they ride on Rights of Way and other paths causing safety issues for other users, cut up tracks and in some cases damage important habitats.
“The message is clear: if you engage in anti-social behaviour which spoils people’s enjoyment of the countryside, the police will take action.”