RESIDENTS have become increasingly concerned over the past few months as off-road bikers have caused "severe damage" to green spaces and nature reserves in Leigh.

Due to previous reports of anti social behaviour, vandalism and destruction of public property at Bickershaw Country Park in Leigh, council workers had put metal fencing, boulders and CCTV in place to try and deter this kind of behaviour and protect the area.

However, offenders have removed anything that was restricting access for their vehicles, even sawing and unearthing fences in order to get through.

Since then, motorcycles and illegal off-roaders such as quad bikes have been causing increasing environmental damage at the site and endangering members of the public who wish to use the country park.

Leigh Journal: Members of the public have become increasingly frustrated at the damageMembers of the public have become increasingly frustrated at the damage

One residents on Hulme Rd said: "A few months ago two people were seriously hurt on the rocks and it took over three hours for emergency services to reach them and get them to safety [because of the damage].

"That is to say nothing of the noise pollution and visual damage to paths and grasslands, which besides being an annoyance and unsightly, disrupts local wildlife and impacts them in numerous ways."

The destruction of our green spaces is also hampering the chances of Bickershaw being awarded additional funding from the National Nature Reserve, which highlight areas to preserve and work towards flood mitigation and carbon capture.

Cllr Dane Anderton said: "The sheer disregard people still have for this space and the many residents living nearby is unacceptable when you can go to legitimate places in Abram and Astley which are only a few more minutes away.

"These are our green spaces and the few people who are destroying them for their own selfish reasons should be reported and held accountable for this criminal damage which is costing all of us money and our wellbeing."

The council are said to be working with the police on this issue, and the public are encouraged to inform the police when such destructive and criminal behaviour occurs.

Leigh Journal: The off road bikes have caused extensive environmental damage to the areaThe off road bikes have caused extensive environmental damage to the area

Please report any incidents or any information you have, to help stop these criminals, either using the above website or CrimeStoppers on: 0800 555 111