A GROUP of off-road and quad bike riders are causing concern for conservationists on Crompton Moor.
The bikers, pictured right, have been spotted riding across the popular beauty spot which is home to a variety of wildlife, flora and fauna.
Damage has also been caused to a number of dry stone walls, according to the Friends of Crompton Moor.
The incident, earlier this month, took place along the boundary at the top of the heather moor.
“It shows just how determined these guys are to access Crompton Moor,” said a spokesperson for the Friends group.
It was subsequently reported to Greater Manchester Police, together with several fires.
A walker spotted four youths lighting ones of the fires and alerted the fire brigade.
The remnants of camp fires in Great Meadow and Black Hey have also been spotted.
Despite the negative incidents, the Friends have been busy on a number of conservation projects including the repair of drystone walls and fences damaged by the bikes.
They have worked again in the Great Meadow wetland area, making more improvements to the pond, cutting back bramble, and planting hawthorn saplings.
Three volunteers also went up to the Crow Knowl restoration area to replace markers (canes) around the 30 quadrats.
Two volunteers pruned back birch trees on the side of a stretch of path on the ‘bike track’ in the spoil heap area.
Earlier this month FCM planted 10 rolls of sphagnum in the Crow Knowl restoration area.
Three volunteers responded to a short notice request from BC City of Trees, who had a deadline to meet planting the sphagnum plugs.
Once the bird breeding season is over, a second monitoring site on Crompton Moor has been proposed, followed up with vegetation surveys of the two monitoring plots.
A refresher training day for bee surveying has been postponed for due to a scarcity of bees.
A return of the popular fungi hunt will take place on Sunday, September 25 (time to be confirmed) while more birdboxes will be installed on the moor.
On Wednesday, July 11 Bob Kenworthy will lead a walk mainly for the Saddleworth Naturalists, but also an invite for all, around Crompton Moor.
A donation of nearly £250 from a member who died earlier this year will allow the Friends to plant a tree for the lasting benefit of the Moor, the wildlife and its users.