By Mick Jensen
Ashburton dog walker Carol Bryan is appalled that trees are being systematically trimmed along Terrace River by youths keen to use the area as a bike and stunt track.
She has twice confronted two teenagers in recent weeks, catching them with a saw in their hands and cutting back branches to ensure a clear bike run along the top of the reserve and down the steep bank.
“I asked them what they were doing and they told me they were making a bike trail.
“When I told them the trees were not theirs to destroy and the land was a reserve for everyone, they seemed unfazed.”
The boys piled up the cut branches, while other branches had simply been snapped off and left hanging, she said.
The destruction was being carried out systematically and steadily moving east towards Smallbone Drive.
Mrs Bryan said she had reported the matter to the police and even supplied details of the number plate of a small scooter ridden by one of the boys.
“The police said they couldn’t really do much, other than drive by to take a look, and advised that the council needed to contact them if there was an issue.”
Mrs Bryan has also reported the matter to Ashburton council, who told her the matter will be investigated.
“I’m just disappointed that people would want to ride over tree roots and damage trees.
“It’s destroying a great reserve that has taken years to grow – there’s just no need for it.”
Another consequence of the activity in the area is the build up of extra rubbish.
Mrs Bryan picked up two bags of rubbish the other day and has seen it steadily increase in recent weeks.
Ashburton council cuts the grass and maintains the reserve, which runs from the entrance to EA Networks Centre to Smallbone Drive.