The Wildlife Trust has hired a security firm to help protect one of its sites – Houghton Regis Quarry – which has been blighted by nuisance motorcyclists in recent months.
The quarry has become a focal point for off-road bikers who illegally ride across the nature reserve, causing misery for wildlife and visitors.
Beds Police have already held action days which have deterred most riders, but to ensure that the public are still able to enjoy the area without interruption, the Wildlife Trust has employed Akita Security Services, of Thurleigh, Beds, to carry out regular patrols.
Philip Williams, the company’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist the Wildlife Trust in their efforts to stop nuisance motorcyclists from disrupting people’s enjoyment of such a wonderful area of outstanding natural beauty.
“We have specialist teams who are able to deal with these types of incidents and if we do find people riding illegally in the area then we will do everything within our powers to make sure that a prosecution can be made.”
Rebecca Pitman, warden of Houghton Regis Quarry for the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire, said: “The quarry is a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, making it legally protected and nationally important for wildlife.
“Off-roading is simply unacceptable on a nature reserve as it is disturbing to wildlife and damages precious habitats.
“The speeds at which these riders travel is dangerous, while the noise of their vehicles is intimidating and distressing to legitimate visitors to the nature reserve, such as families, ramblers, dog walkers and community groups who the Wildlife Trust want to encourage to visit the site.
“We are very pleased to have Akita Security working with us and continuing the good work carried out by the police.
“I hope visitors will feel reassured by their presence and continue to enjoy Houghton Regis Quarry.”