Moss Valley Meats: Farmers and residents warn someone will be killed as off-roaders plague picturesque valley

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Residents and farmers have expressed their concerns about off-road bikers who are damaging crops and riding dangerously in a picturesque valley on the Sheffield-Derbyshire border.

Steve Thompson, the co-owner of Moss Valley Meats, said that groups of off-road bikers have been speeding through Moss Valley. He said the riders are damaging his crops at a time when the cost of running his business is rising.

“We’ve got motorbikes coming in groups of five or so and tearing around the place, going through and damaging our crops,” he said.

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Steve and Karen Thompson, pictured at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards, have had their business impacted by off-road bikers.Steve and Karen Thompson, pictured at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards, have had their business impacted by off-road bikers.
Steve and Karen Thompson, pictured at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards, have had their business impacted by off-road bikers.

“They’re doing donuts in the middle of a ten acre field - the price of fertiliser is at £1,000 a ton, so we can’t afford to be wasting and losing crops - it’s hard enough to make a living without someone coming and ruining it.”

Steve said that it was only a matter of time before someone was seriously injured, with the riders not caring about the damage and danger they were causing.

“It's just like a motorway for them, they’re doing 30-40mph while horses are coming down, and it’s only four feet wide, so they’ve got no chance if something happens there.

“They’re pushing past people on the bridleways - they’re going to knock somebody off a horse at some point, and then it’s going to get dangerous - they’re going to come off and get hurt, and we don’t want to wait until something nasty happens.

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“They’re stolen motorbikes, they’re not wearing helmets, they’re the kind of people that don’t care and we’re fed up.”

A local dogwalker echoed Steve’s concerns. He said that, while forces from Derbyshire and South Yorkshire Police were working to tackle the problem, he was worried that someone would be killed by the off-roaders.

“Mr Thompson and that neighbourhood have got an incredible problem with off-road bikers, and it’s getting worse,” he said.

“The owner of a local riding school said one of her young girls on a horse had a motorbike and quad bike ride straight at her - she’s fearful of losing clients because of this.

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“They’re on footpaths, bridleways, going through Mr Thompson’s crops - at some point they’re going to connect with and kill somebody and they’ll bugger off.”

“SYP are doing such a good job in Sheffield that they’re staying out of the city and heading over the border into Moss Valley. The Derbyshire Rural Crime Team are doing their best, but it’s a big place to watch, and what can they do if they can’t get near them?”

PC Emerson Buckingham, from Derbyshire Police’s Rural Crime Team, said: “I, along with fellow officers, am fully aware of the issues involving off-road riding in this part of the county and there are well-established links with landowners and farmers who have my details.

“Due to the location of this particular area, we work closely with colleagues from South Yorkshire Police and will continue to do so in the future.

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“As is always the case with any kind of criminality or anti-social behaviour, it is crucial that incidents are reported in a timely manner to ensure that officers understand the current issues and where best to direct resources to combat them.”

Anyone who witnesses behaviour of this kind is asked to contact the force using any of the below methods:

Facebook – send a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary

Twitter – direct message the force’s contact centre on @DerPolContact

Website – complete the online contact form.

Phone – call 101

You can also anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If there is an immediate risk to life then always use the 999 emergency number.