Groups of individuals have been reported to be rising quad bikes and trial bikes in the Wicklow/Dublin Mountains in recent weeks, despite the current Covid-19 restrictions being in place.
According to local sources, many of these have travelled great distances to get to the mountainous area.
The use of these vehicles within the Wicklow Mountains National Park and Special Area of Conservation is an illegal activity and extremely damaging to the fragile landscapes of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains. COVID-19 restrictions also prohibit these movements as they are non-essential.
The Department of Culture has stated that these illegal activities cause the loss of vegetation and erosion which leads to gullying, scaring of the landscape and eventual landslides. They also cause concern to wildlife, livestock and interfere with their natural behaviour.
The department wishes to remind all users of the Wicklow Mountains that the use of recreational off-road vehicles within the Special Area of Conservation is illegal under the European Communities Birds and Natural Habitats Directive.
The public have been asked to report such activity to the Duty Ranger of Wicklow Mountains National Park, at 087 980 3899, and the Gardaí.
“This activity is a scourge to upland habitats. Reports will be followed up on and perpetrators prosecuted where possible. Given the current national crisis, we would hope that the precious resources of the State are not required to deal with such avoidable behaviour,” the statement concluded.