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Joint statement issued on behalf of the Isle of Man Government, Isle of Man Constabulary, the Auto-Cycle Union, and Manx National Farmers Union

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Visitors and locals are urged to use greenlanes appropriately – do not to ride away from designated tracks, on open hill land, plantations or disturb livestock or wildlife.

Aerial shot of 7 bikers riding illegally on open fieldRiding an off-roadmotorbike or 4x4 away from marked greenlanes or public highways is an offence under section 28 of the Road Traffic Act – an offence which carries a fine, potential licence endorsements and may also lead to ACU sanctions to any members who receive prosecutions.

In addition to this both the Forestry Act 1984 and the Wildlife Act 1990 may be used in relation to illegal access and disturbance of wildlife and habitats.

This reminder follows reports of a group of off-road enduro bikes riding over hill land from Snaefell Mines to the Veranda, over the Snaefell Mountain Railway tracks and towards Windy Corner during Monday’s racing period.

Two bikers riding illegally on open fieldA separate group was also seen riding on Snaefell at the same time. Illegal riding of this nature causes damage to our local habitats, wildlife and disturbs livestock.

The reckless disturbance of livestock in any area close to the TT course not only endangers riders, marshals and spectators but in this case is also harmful to one of Britain’s most threatened birds of prey – the Hen Harrier. Hen Harriers are ground nesting birds and are highly susceptible to disturbance, and the Manx Uplands supports the highest density of breeding hen harrier in the British Isles.

It is acknowledged that the majority of visitors are legally and respectfully using our greenlanes and greenway roads, some are regularly used to access some of the more remote vantage points during road closures. Anyone using the lanes for this purpose are asked to ensure they stick to the designated tracks, do not disturb any livestock or wildlife, and to remove any rubbish or litter when they leave.

DEFA ranger service truckThe miles of unsurfaced highways on the Island provide access to our countryside for off-road motorcyclists, 4x4’s, horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians in a way that also protects the natural habitats around us.  

All visitors and locals who wish to use the greenlanes and greenway roads should purchase the Outdoor Leisure Map available from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal and local bookshops.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) and the Police are making enquiries regarding the riders and photos circulating on social media.

If you would like to report any suspected illegal access please contact either the Police on +44 1624 631212 or the DEFA Ranger Team on +44 7624 205250.

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