Council to end BMX course danger

A BMX rider
A BMX rider
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TOWN hall chiefs are set to remove a home-made and unsafe BMX track which bikers have erected at a borough beauty spot.

Concerned officials from Wigan Council and the Wildlife Trust were first made aware of the contraption over a year ago.

But they have spent the past few months monitoring its impact on the surrounding environment before taking the decision to shut it down. Removal plans will start next week.

Mark Champion, manager at Wigan Flashes for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, said: “The track has made a significant impact on the environment in the area.

“Our team has made the necessary efforts to contact the riders but due to safety issues and the need to protect a site of such biological importance it has been decided that the track must be removed and the environmental impacts rectified.

“We would like anyone who has been using the track to contact us so that we can explain the reasons for removing it and hopefully prevent this from happening again.”

Plans are in place to flatten the home-made track and return the site to its former glory.

The Flashes attract many visitors from across the borough due to its wildlife and scenic qualities and it is the intentions of Wigan Council to preserve this site for the benefit of its residents.

The area will be closely monitored by reserve staff and volunteers, as well as local residents, to ensure that a re-build is not possible.

Mike Worden, assistant director of planning and transport, said: “We do not wish to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of leisure activities.

“However, we have a duty of care to the local nature reserve and our rising concern over BMX riders causing damage to the area must be addressed.

“This important wet woodland habitat is not an authorised BMX track and no permission was ever sought from the council prior to its construction.

“We would encourage visitors to the Wigan Flashes to be vigilant and report any acts of criminal damage on the reserve to GM Police.”

Report any criminal damage at Wigan Flashes call police on 101.

Wigan Flashes was designated a local nature reserve because it contains two sites of special scientific interest and seven sites of biological importance.

The reserve is managed on behalf of the council by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and the Wigan Flashes Conservation and Community Group. This is a group of hard working and dedicated volunteers who contribute an enormous amount of time in helping to manage the site through practical tasks and activities.