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Stunt rider backs beauty spot campaign

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:45 UK time, Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A police campaign to protect prime natural habitats in north east Wales has had backing this week from an unlikely source. Stunt motorcycle rider Jason Rennie has pledged his support for North Wales Police's Heather And Hillforts campaign.

The campaign aims to combat damage to the Denbighshire countryside done by off-road motorbiking and 4x4s. North Wales Police say, "Ancient hillforts and burial chambers that withstood the Roman occupation are now under siege from a biker blitzkrieg sweeping across the uplands in Denbighshire.

"Rare species and their priceless habitats are also being illegally endangered and damaged by off-road motorbikes and 4x4s.

"But now a concerted campaign, catchphrase 'don't leave home without it', led by Denbighshire Countryside Services is encouraging farmers, ramblers and others who enjoy the county's wide open spaces to carry a special telephone number with them - or even key it into their mobile phones - to report the vandals."

The police can now seize and crush vehicles and fine their owners up to £20,000.

Speaking to the North Wales Daily Post, Rennie said, "People just don't realise the damage they are doing riding bikes across those mountains. What we need is as minimal impact on the land as we can to make sure the wildlife and the natural habitat is protected.

"Bikes and 4x4s tearing up the moorland create massive scars all over the mountains. Water channels out of the ruts and causes even more damage and racing around forest tracks is a massive danger to legitimate users."

Denbighshire County Council's Heather and Hillforts Project covers the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Horseshoe Pass and Llantysilio Mountain, part of the Ruabon/Llantysilio Mountains and Minera Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the Berwyn and South Clwyd Mountains Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

To report illegal off-roaders, call police on 0845 6071002 or 0845 6071001 for Welsh language callers.


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