Campaigners who helped restore a historic wood in Mirfield have hit back at mountain bikers who destroyed much of their good work.
Volunteers from Mirfield Community Partnership set about restoring Lady Wood in Lower Hopton in around 2004.
The group worked with mountain bikers to set up a trail through the woods which was used without problems for years.
But the volunteers were left furious last year when another group of bikers extended the track, doubling its length, taking stones from walls to create jumps and obstacles.
The Examiner reported how Kirklees Council went in to dismantle the track saying it had been installed without permission.
That led to complaints from biker George Bennington, 21, of Kirkheaton, who said he and his friends were “devastated” at the council’s actions.
George slammed the council for riding roughshod over their hobby but Clr David Pinder, chairman of Mirfield Community Partnership, has come to the council’s defence.
Clr Pinder said Kirklees had been very supportive of the group’s restoration of the woods which had included reinstating paths, stripping back undergrowth, bringing in schoolchildren to design sculptures and information boards and planting hundreds of bluebell bulbs.
He said those who had extended the bike track had damaged paths designed especially for people unsteady on their feet, blocked up streams turning the woodland boggy and churned up areas where bluebells grew.
Clr Pinder said the council had been acting in the wood’s best interests. The council is holding an open meeting in the wood on Thursday (April 13) at 10.30am to decide on a way forward.