Illegal parties are damaging woods

3/5/07 Features Folder'Weekly Walk Wk 19 'Bluebells in Raincliffe Woods '071863b
3/5/07 Features Folder'Weekly Walk Wk 19 'Bluebells in Raincliffe Woods '071863b

ILLEGAL drinking parties are threatening one of Scarborough’s most ancient woodlands.

Raincliffe Woods is being vandalised by groups of youngsters who have chosen the beauty spot as a popular place to hold late night parties.

Over recent weeks the problem in the area has increased to such an extend that some trees have had to be felled after fire were lit against them.

The Friends of Raincliffe Woods are now appealing to witnesses to report any further incidents to the police, in a bid to put a stop to the late night activities.

John Bradley, chairman of the Friends, said: “Raincliffe Woods has seen an upsurge in the numbers of incidents of fly tipping, vandalism, fires and damage to trees. The main area of concern is the increase in illegal and often underage drinking parties in the woodland.

“We have reports of groups of people many of school age being dropped of by car, presumably by parents, when they then take cartons of alcohol up into the woods.

“The results are plain to see the following mornings with empty wine and spirit bottles, food packaging, abandoned tents and sleeping bags, broken glass, used drugs needles and condoms strewn around the woodland.

“Over the last few months we have been in discussion with the police and the council as to what can be done to manage this problem.

“It is not rocket science to realise that Fridays and Saturdays and Bank holidays are the nights where the problem is most apparent yet the powers that be seem to have a problem recognising the fact. One of the reasons stated is that such events are not being reported.

“The Council has assured us that the redundant Park Rangers will be replaced by a volunteer ranger system but to date we have no further information. In the mean time we would ask all situations are reported to the Police.”

North Yorkshire Police say they have increase patrols in the area in response.