‘OFF roaders’ are tearing up the countryside and blighting the lives of farmers, a local police officer has warned this week.
The force, in partnership with the borough council and Natural England are taking steps to tackle the ongoing problem at Barston Ford, Temple Balsall.
Speaking to the Solihull News this week, PC Andy Timmins, the Farm Watch liaison officer, said the serene spot is being targeted by four wheel drivers, who are using the area for the thrill seeking activity.
He said: “Barston Ford is not a through road, so the off roaders are purposely going down there to have a play. What they probably don’t realise is that they are causing damage to the environment, destroying habitat and are making life a lot harder for the local farmers.
“A local farmer uses this ford to access his farm, otherwise it means a three of four mile trip along the road with some heavy duty farming vehicles. But because of the erosion caused by these ‘off roaders,’ access has been made very difficult.”
PC Timmins said he has been looking at ways, with the help of the local authority, to restrict access for other vehicles.
He added: “We have had success with a similar problem in Knowle. The best solution would be to limit access to these vehicles to stop cars going across the ford.”
PC Timmins is one of the lead officers of the Farm Watch scheme, which was set up between the police and the farming community to clamp down on rural crime. Other recent offences include the theft of metal from farm buildings.