VANDALS have broken down a fence in Fylingdales to exit the moor after illegally riding motorcycles across the conservation area.
A section of the fence at Jugger Howe lay-by was flattened to allow other motorcycles or a quad bike to leave that part of the moor.
The wildlife ranger who looks after that area of the moor said not only was this an act of criminal damage, but it could have had tragic consequences if livestock wandered onto the A171.
Ranger Chris Hansell added: “Not only do this selfish minority damage plant life and disturb wildlife on the moor, some of which are rare, but they tear up the paths used by walkers and create ruts which accelerates erosion on the moor.
“They have also damaged the stone steps and bridge at Jugger Beck.”
Mr Hansell explained that staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the delicate and valuable ecosystem, do not use motorcycles or quad bikes. He asked anyone who spots 4x4 vehicles being driven across the moor should attempt to get the registration number, take photographs and get a description of both the vehicle and the rider.
It is already known that one of the motorcycles has some blue on it because of paint left when it climbed the style at Jugger Howe before turning back to knock down the fence.
A white quad has also been seen on the moor recently.
Anyone who can help is urged to contact Whitby Police by calling 101 or the National Park on (01287) 661014.