Vehicle traced for illegal damage to Mendip Hills AONB

Vehicle traced for illegal damage to Mendip Hills AONB

Mendip Hills AONB have issued this press statement:

The driver of a vehicle illegally damaging a Scheduled Monument in the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been traced by police.

On the 25th November 2021 an off-road vehicle that had entered a Scheduled Monument illegally was found to have been abandoned. The vehicle had driven across sensitive areas of the site damaging the surface and the rare plants that live in the unusual habitat before becoming stuck. The site is a Scheduled Monument as it has been mined for lead and other minerals for 2000 years, the spoil heaps provide a unique habitat for rare plants.

Before the vehicle was reclaimed the police had traced the registered owner and subsequently issued a Section 59 warning notice and informed of the damaging results of their actions. The warning is given to both the driver and the vehicle. This means that if either are subsequently stopped then a seizure may take place even if another driver is in the original vehicle, or the original driver is another vehicle.

Jim Hardcastle, Mendip Hills AONB Manager said, 'It's reassuring that the police have taken this and other incidents of damage to our national heritage seriously. These sites are protected as they represent our collective history and can't be recreated. This particular site is also a stronghold for rare plants and animals, at a time when we're facing an ecological emergency these sites become even more precious to us all. The message should go out to all people that drive off-road illegally that we take it seriously and will work with the police to prosecute offenders.'

Bob Croft, South West Heritage Trust, said, 'The nationally-important Roman and later lead mining remains at Charterhouse on Mendip are exceptionally fragile and can be easily damaged by irresponsible off-roading . The recent damage means that careful repairs to the earthworks will now be necessary.'

The statement was issued on Wednesday 5th January 2022.

Posted: Thu, 06 Jan 2022 06:52 by Lisa Pool

Tags: Environment, Mendip Hills AONB