Police are investigating after a volunteer ranger was verbally abused by a biker riding illegally on a nature reserve.
Mendip Hills AONB is appealing for witnesses after a man was seen illegally riding his motorbike around Blackmoor Nature Reserve on Sunday, April 10. The organisation said it has been left “shocked and saddened” after the incident, alleging the man became “extremely verbally abusive and very intimidating” towards a volunteer ranger.
The volunteer ranger was walking in the nature reserve with her partner when she tried to point out that motorbikes were banned on the site, according to reports. The organisation has said the “torrent of abuse she received is completely unacceptable”.
In a post shared on Facebook, Mendip Hills AONB said: “We were really shocked and saddened when one of our amazing Volunteer Rangers reported this incident at Blackmoor Nature Reserve on Sunday. The man had been seen riding his motorbike around the reserve, completely illegally and while others were trying to enjoy the site.
“When it was pointed out that he really shouldn’t be doing it by the young, female Volunteer Ranger he became extremely verbally abusive and very intimidating. All the details are being passed to the police.”
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They would like to speak to the two dog walkers who may have witnessed the incident, and they claim lots of people were using the site at the time. Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed that enquiries “are ongoing”.
In a statement, the force said: “I can confirm we have received a report regarding alleged antisocial behaviour. Enquiries into the matter are ongoing. Anyone with information can call 101 and give reference number 5222087510.”
The organisation went on to explain all the volunteer rangers undergo “a rolling programme of core competencies including de-escalation training and understanding the psychology of countryside visitors”. They are advised never to put themselves at risk. “The torrent of abuse she received is completely unacceptable whether she was a volunteer, member of staff or just a visitor,” Mendip Hills AONB added.
If you witnessed the incident or have any information, call police on 101 using the reference number 5222087510.