Friends of Northampton park back council over mountain biker 'vandalism'

Council workers flatten the ramps in Cherry Orchard Woods
Council workers flatten the ramps in Cherry Orchard Woods

A group representing a Northampton park has praised action taken by the borough council to flatten a controversial mountain bike trail.

Mountain bikers who use Cherry Orchard Woods near Hardingstone were aghast earlier this month when dirt jumps and ramps that had been in place for more than 20 years were flattened by on the orders of the borough council.

An online petition by Northampton Mountain Bike Group asking for the trails to be saved has now been signed by more than 1,200 people.

But Delapre Park Friends - whose group represent all the Delapre parkland, including Cherry Orchard Woods - have said they completely support the council's actions and labelled the trails "criminal damage".

A spokesman said: "We are so glad that the council have done what they did.

"It's part of the Delapre Park Land, it's a natural resource, it's there for people to walk quietly around and appreciate.

"They had no right and it's staggering they can't see it's criminal damage."

Posting on the petition website, Tom Robinson of Hardingstone Mountain Bike Group said: "As a group, our focus is to work with the council, to compromise and to enable this positive, healthy activity to be able to continue, to support the younger generation and to offer this wonderful opportunity to people of all age for many years to come."

But Delapre Park Friends says it has not been swayed by the petition, and has questioned how many of the signatories actually use the park.

The spokesman said: "I think a few people have just thought let's have a go at the council, but actually the council have done something good here that needs to be praised. They are a minority."