July 25, 2021

‘Extremely damaging’ – gangs of quad bikers descend on Wicklow Mountain in defiance of defy of Covid-19 restrictions

Groups of quad bikers are continuing to descend on the Wicklow Mountains in defiance of the current Covid-19 restrictions.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht hit out at the actions of the bikers, saying they pose a threat to the Wicklow beauty spot’s fragile ecosystem.

The department said the use of quad bikes and trials bikes within the Wicklow Mountains “is an illegal activity and extremely damaging” to the area.

It has urged the public to report such behaviour to gardai and the duty ranger of the Wicklow Mountains Nationa Park.

In a statement, the department said groups and individuals have been observed using quads and trials bikes in the Wicklow and Dublin Mountains despite the current Covid-19 restrictions.

The department said: “They are travelling on fragile mountain habits, forest roads/tracks and on the public road,” the department said.

“There is evidence that some have travelled some distance to get there. Many of these vehicles are travelling at speed, causing a safety concern to landowners, other road users and people taking exercise within their 2km radius from home.”

The department said the use of the vehicles causes loss of vegetation and erosion “which leads to gullying, scarring of the landscape and eventual landslides”.

“The unregulated use of these vehicles is also a concern for wildlife and livestock, interfering with breeding ground nesting birds, and disturbing groups of animals and interfering with their natural behaviour,” the statement added.

Anyone who witnesses such behaviour is urged to contact the duty ranger of Wicklow Mountains National Park at 087 980 3899 and the gardaí.

“Reports will be followed up on and perpetrators prosecuted where possible. Given the current national crisis, we would hope that the precious resources of the State are not required to deal with such avoidable behaviour,” the department added.

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