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Disused Barton gravel store could be offered to BMX riders after damage caused to Long Meadow

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A DISUSED Barton gravel store could be temporarily made available for BMX riders to prevent further damage to a local beauty spot.

New Milton town councillors have been striving to find an alternative venue after tree branches were repeatedly cut down and piles of dirt formed to create bike tracks in the copse area of Long Meadow, off Meadow Way.

As reported in the A&T, one teenager responsible for some of the damage to the protected site had come forward and apologised but explained there was nowhere else to go.

Previous damage caused by cyclists to a copse at Long Meadow
Previous damage caused by cyclists to a copse at Long Meadow

Updating a recent amenities committee meeting, town clerk Graham Flexman said he had been looking into the idea of the old gravel store in Barton Common Road on a temporary basis.

Hampshire County Council had been contacted and, although not refusing the idea, had requested more information as to how the site would be used.

Amenities chair Cllr Geoff Blunden welcomed this as an ideal solution while the search continued for a site to host a purpose-built BMX facility.

“Whilst we would like children to have play areas, Long Meadow is not the site,” he said.

“It is a SINC [Site of Importance for Nature Conservation] and common land, and it is our duty to protect it.”

Cllr Robert Murrow was also pleased to hear the development, commenting that badger setts had been among the wildlife threatened by inappropriate use of Long Meadow.

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