Police in Staffordshire have issued a warning after a cyclist found a wire stretched across a trail at Brocton Coppice, in the popular Cannock Chase forest in Staffordshire.
In a statement released earlier today, officers say they received a report from a cyclist riding in Cannock Chase, a popular haunt for mountain bikers just north of Birmingham, concerning a wire that had been tied between a tree and a post, at “adult waist height”, across one of the forest’s paths yesterday.
Staffordshire Police said that the forest’s rangers have been informed of the apparent attempt at sabotage, which they noted “could cause serious injury to walkers, cyclists, children, horse riders or wildlife”, and that local officers are aware.
The statement also warned visitors to Cannock Chase to be “extra vigilant” when walking, cycling, or horse riding in the area, and to report any suspicious activity to Staffordshire Police on 101, using the reference 550 of 04/02/2023.
One Facebook user, commenting on the police’s post, claimed that “anti-cyclist signs have been erected” in the area in recent months, and that people opposed to cyclists in the forest “have decided to become vigilantes”.
“There are 3,000 acres of Cannock Chase,” the commenter noted. “Plenty of room for everyone to enjoy.”
Cyclists have long been the target of attempts at sabotage from locals unhappy at them using forest trails or paths, a phenomena that rose sharply during the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In June 2021, a nine-year-old boy sustained a neck injury after cycling into a rope stretched across a path in woodlands in Kent, causing him to fall off his bike, while a year earlier a mountain biker suffered a nasty wrist injury after riding into a metal wire strung across a West Yorkshire trail.
In May 2020, a cyclist riding in woods in Cleveland had both his tyres punctured after he rode across a wooden board with nails hammered into it that had been left as a trap for cyclists.
And later that month, two women in their sixties were spoken to by police after admitting placing rocks and branches on a path in North Yorkshire to stop cyclists from using it.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.