18 June, 2020
Damage to protected sites on Orkney caused by off-road motorbikes
Some of Orkney’s protected habitats have been damaged as a result of illegal access by off road motorbikes, report Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Police Scotland.
SNH is keen to encourage the public to visit these areas as part of their local exercise during the Covid-19 lockdown and beyond. But access rights should always be exercised responsibly in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code – these rights don’t extend to motorised vehicles.
The first incident involved an off-road motorbike riding up and down the sand dunes at the Central Sanday Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). A member of the public reported the event to the police, which gave a warning to the individuals involved. In a second incident, it appears someone had repeatedly ridden a motorbike along the coastal footpath at Stromness Heaths and Coast SSSI (the area of coastline from Stromness to Bay of Skaill).
Daniel Brazier, SNH’s Northern Isles & North Highland Operations Manager, said:
“Outdoor exercise is particularly important for us all right now to keep mentally and physically healthy. But we’d like to remind people that protected areas have sensitive habitat that can easily be damaged by off-road motorbikes and other off-road vehicles. It’s essential that people abide by the Scottish Outdoor Access Code for the safety of other members of the public and to protect our important natural sites.”
For more information on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, see www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot .
- SNH Media
Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. We work to ensure that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot
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