Norfolk & Suffolk Police and the Forestry Commission in East England have conducted a number of spot checks in recent months to stamp out illegal riding in Thetford Forest. Checks have been targeting hot spots and a considerable number of Section 59 notices (using a vehicle in an anti-social manner) have been issued, including in some cases motorcycles seized.
The good news is a lot of checks on byways have found riders to have legal machinery and aware of their responsibilities. In fact some areas have now seen a significant reduction in illegal riding. Conversely, some riders still haven’t got the message and checks conducted early October 2017 have resulted in a further 6 Section 59 notices being issued. Some of Forestry land and the pits riders have been illegally riding are very sensitive from a conservation perspective. In addition, to a bike being seized, an offence can now carry a fine up to £5,000!
During the autumn and winter months checks will continue. Members of the public using the forest, local residents and Diss MCC are being very proactive in assisting the police and forestry with this exercise.
The only places in Thetford Forest where off road riding is permitted is at authorised tracks such as Hit the Dirt at Swaffham or the Norfolk and Suffolk Schoolboy Track at Hockham. Even then riding in at these venues is only permitted when they are open for an event or authorised practise day. All other areas of forest including locations such as Two Mile Bottom or where the Diss Club run enduro events, is strictly no go. If you are trail riding – you must be road legal and you must not
deviate from authorised green lane routes. Prepared to be stopped.
Ignorance is not an excuse.