POLICE are warning off-road bikers who have damaged a beauty spot to stay away or they run the risk of having their bikes impounded and crushed.

Action has been taken after off-road riders churned up the land at Brusselton Bank, near Shildon, County Durham, leaving muddy grooves.

Police have received regular complaints about the damage and last month (February) landowners Harworth Estates, of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, have put up signs to warn off-roaders.

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Riders who ignore the signs will be given a notice warning that the police can seize their vehicles should they be used in anti-social manner in the next 12 months.

Once vehicles have been seized their owners are charged a fee by the police for storing them. If they are not claimed within a certain time the vehicles are crushed.

PCSO Michael Robson, of Shildon police, said: “This has been going on for years. We met the landowners and we came up with the idea of putting warning signs up.

“The problem is that some people are saying that off-roaders can ride there but they are giving out the wrong message."

Ian Rogers, environment and risk manager at the estates, said: “There are public footpaths which run through the site.

“We are happy for people to ride horses or walk across the land but we are trying to discourage off-road motorcycles and vehicles.

“They’ve churned up the land and they have caused a noise nuisance and there are health and safety issues. 

“The police have been out there to warn them and we wanted to put out the message out there to warn people off."