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Council to work with youngsters to find cycle site after teen apologises for damage to beauty spot

Damage caused by cyclists at a copse in Barton Common
Damage caused by cyclists at a copse in Barton Common

NEW Milton councillors are set to work with youngsters to find an alternative cycling track after a teenager apologised for more damage caused at a local beauty spot.

Tree branches were cut down and piles of dirt formed in the copse area off Meadow Way, which forms part of Barton Common, a recent online meeting of the amenities committee was told.

“We should be working with them, not against them,” said Cllr Christine Ward after one of the riders had said sorry to the town council but explained they had nowhere else to go.

The council’s estates and facilities manager, Mark Jeffries, said the 19-year-old had come forward and was keen to discuss the matter further.

“He was quite positive in his attitude and very apologetic, but said they just wanted somewhere to go,” Mr Jeffries said.

In response, committee chair Cllr Geoffrey Blunden said the council would look to work with the youngsters to find a suitable local site they can use for cycling.

It was suggested that the council’s youth services manager, Silma Ramsaywack, meet with them to discuss the situation.

“I really understand that with all the skate parks closed, they wanted to let off steam, but this is about providing a balance,” Cllr Blunden commented.

As reported in the A&T, thousands of pounds of damage caused to the copse in 2019 previously prompted councillors to call for a more suitable site to be found for a permanent BMX track.

Further reinstatement works including replanting are being looked into for the site, and a small stretch of fencing could also be erected by the roadside.

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