Junior footballers in Kidsgrove make appeal to stop dirt bikers wrecking pitch

People can donate tokens after they shop at the Kidsgrove Tesco store to help raise funds for the barriers

Junior football organisers in Kidsgrove are calling for barriers to stop quad bikes ripping up their pitches.

Organisers with Ladsandads say quads and motocross bikes have been riding across Kidsgrove's Birchenwood fields with children among those spotted driving them.

Now plans are in place to put up barriers to stop motorbikes from getting on to the site – but volunteers need help from supermarket shoppers.

Clive Dean, chairman of Staffordshire Ladsandads Football said: ” I’ve witnessed them here. One Sunday, after a game, one motorbike came on. It was a father and son,  and I went over and spoke to them.

“The dad said, ‘it’s a new bike he’s just testing it out’. So I asked if they could just go around the edge. But he still drove across the pitches.

“They don’t seem to have any regard or respect. The pitches can be damaged for weeks if two wheels go across it and it’s wet. It’s quite a big problem really.”

Organisers have linked up with Newcastle Borough Council and Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ scheme to try and put the brakes on the riders. Barriers could be installed at the site if enough blue tokens are dropped in the scheme’s slot at Kidgsrove’s superstore branch.

In addition to the pitches, bikers have also been causing problems for users of the country park.

Mark Porter, who is chairman of the Kidsgrove branch of Ladsandads, said: “We’ve even had them ride over while we are playing. The police don’t seem to be able to stop it. The riders can be as young as 10.”

Newcastle Borough council say a site inspection has been carried out where measures were identified which could stop the bikers.

Councillor Jill Waring, cabinet member for community safety and well-being, said: “The council has received numerous complaints about the anti-social use of off-road bikes at Birchenwood Country Park which is causing harassment, alarm and distress.

“Bikes were driving at high speeds on the cycleway – causing danger to cyclists, walkers, runners, horse riders and residents on disabled scooters – and were also riding over football pitches during matches, resulting in disruption, abandoned games and damage.

“Following a site inspection, a range of measures were identified to deter access by motorbikes, mini motos and quad bikes – or at least slow them down – while still allowing access for other users.

“The council’s finances are very tight and it increasingly has to find creative ways of funding things like this. The Newcastle Partnership has contributed £1,500 towards the project, which is almost complete, and it would be fantastic if shoppers in Kidsgrove supported its completion.”

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