The police are investigating criminal damage to a heathland habitat
Police are investigating a mountain bike trail that has been labeled as criminal damage at Kenilworth Common nature reserve near Coventry.
The short track appears to consist of a few small doubles and a berm. There are quite a lot of tyre marks, showing it received regular use. It was also discovered that a small pond had been filled in and damage had been caused to trees.
Sergeant Dave Kettle of Warwickshire Police has described the acts as “criminal offences” and has appealed for anyone with information on the diggers to come forwards.
The trust believes that the building has changed the soil structure which will affect plants, birds, bees and butterflies. The damage to the pond will harm amphibians that use it for breeding and refuge.
Moira-Ann Grainger, a local councillor, said: “A few people are spoiling the enjoyment of others by damaging the woodland environment. The extensive digging in an attempt to create features has damaged tree roots.”
The reserve is a heathland habitat and home to kingfishers, brown trouts, common lizards and jays. The track has now been removed and the damage repaired by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust volunteers.
Thankfully, this is not a widespread issue. Karl Curtis, reserves and community engagement manager, said: “We manage 64 reserves and this is the most extensive damage of this kind. We appreciate people want to go out and enjoy the reserves but this is not permitted.”
The nearest official trails are roughly six miles away at Leamington Spa 4X track. The common itself is used annually for a Boxing Day cyclocross race.