Barriers installed to reduce bike nuisance at Swinton wood

Councillor John Doyle pictured by the blocked-off entrance to Creighton Woods, Swinton. Picture: Marie Caley
Councillor John Doyle pictured by the blocked-off entrance to Creighton Woods, Swinton. Picture: Marie Caley

Funding has been secured to create barriers to stop off-road motorcyclists creating havoc in a Dearne woodland.

Police and council teams took action following numerous complaints from dog walkers about riders causing a nuisance at Creighton Woods in Swinton.

Woodland visitors told how some riders had even aimed at them on public footpaths, while other concerns about the effect on local wildlife were also raised.

But Swinton councillor Ken Wyatt said the local neighbourhood team has received about £4000 from the Woodland Trust and Rotherham Council’s area housing panel to tackle the issue.

Work has already begun to block certain areas used by riders, but project leaders will use the new funding to build even more.

They plan to use felled trees and branches to create ‘natural barriers’, meanwhile there is also a plan to re-instate a gate at a main entrance off Warren Vale.

Coun Wyatt said: “It is illegal for off-road motorcyclists to ride on public footpaths. It causes distress for walkers and is also harmful to the environment and puts wildlife in unnecessary danger.

“I doubt we will be able to stop them all-together but if we make it inconvenient for them then it will at least help.”

Coun John Doyle said council and police teams are working together in a “concerted effort” to reduce off-road motorbike nuisance.

Police community support officer supervisor Karen Sykes, of the Wentworth North Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Park rangers are looking at a number of measures to make it harder for people to drive through the woods, such as the felling of trees, in order to help obstruct certain paths. This work cannot be completed until later in the year due to wildlife interests.

“There is often an increase in reports of off road vehicles in the summer months and riders must be aware that even if the vehicle is used on private land, the rider must have the land owner’s permission.

“If they are ridden off road, it can cause annoyance, alarm or distress to local residents. Anyone found to be using these vehicles in an antisocial or unlawful manner could have the vehicle seized under the Police Reform Act 2002.”