Mid Ulster District Council, the PSNI and Mid Ulster Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) have launched a joint campaign to help prohibit unauthorised vehicles including motorbikes, quads and scramblers at Davagh Forest, Cookstown.
Davagh Forest, described as the ‘hidden gem’ of Mid Ulster, is situated approximately 6 miles North West of Cookstown. The Forest has become a huge draw for mountain bikers as well as leisure walkers and families.
Mid Ulster District Council and the PSNI have recently become aware of the use of unauthorised vehicles in the Forest.
As a result the Council, PSNI and Mid Ulster PCSP have been working together to highlight that unauthorised vehicles such as these are prohibited.
Mid Ulster District Council Chair, Councillor Kim Ashton, said, “We are not trying to spoil anyone’s fun but our main priority must be to ensure that Davagh Forest remains a safe place for the many leisure walkers and families that use our paths and for the mountain bikers that use our world class network of trails.”
Councillor Ken Reid, Chair of Mid Ulster Policing and Community Safety Partnership, said, “Earlier this year, damage caused by scramblers led to the closure of the trails at Davagh. This had a detrimental effect on everyone who uses the Forest. The PCSP was very pleased to support this campaign by providing CCTV cameras and warning signage to detect and deter this type of irresponsible behaviour.
“We want to remind everyone that these vehicles can be very dangerous if not used legally and in the correct environment. There have been very serious incidents and fatalities involving quads and scramblers and we do not want similar tragedies to happen in Davagh.”
Sergeant JP McCartan, Cookstown Neighbourhood Policing Team, added, “As well as causing considerable damage to the paths and trails, these vehicles can be a safety hazard for pedestrians and mountain bikers. We want everyone to safely enjoy all that Davagh has to offer. Anyone detected using unauthorised vehicles in Davagh Forest is in breach of the Forestry Land Bye Laws (NI) 2013, Section 13 and any such offences will be dealt with robustly.”