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Biker injured in wire sabotage attack.

SABOTAGE in Chopwell Woods has landed a downhill mountain biker in hospital.

Reports suggest the mountain biker was cycling on a specially-designed downhill run when he collided with a wire strung across the trail.

The cyclist was taken to Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital and received 30 stitches to his arm.

This type of sabotage to Chopwell Woods is not an isolated incident.

Alex MacLennan, head of recreation for the Forestry Commission, said: "This is not the first incident in the last few months. We don't know why this person is doing this.

"The police are involved and hopefully we can bring this to a successful closure."

Mick Stephenson, a keen mountain biker and member of the North East Freeride Association, said: "There have been a lot of traps put in place on the trails in Chopwell over the last year.

"Trees have been cut down and dragged onto walking trails, biking trails and paths. Wires and metal bars have been strewn across trails at neck height and buried in the trail to deliberately cause harm to those using the trail."

Liz Searle, 63, secretary for Friends of Chopwell Wood, praised the work of the Forestry Commission but said they need more help.

"The Forestry Commission are doing all they can, but they have no staff," she said.

"This is the detrimental side effect of not having Forestry Commission rangers, and that's a result of government cuts.

"I can't understand why someone would do it, they don't know who they are injuring, children, wildlife."

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CONCERN Alex MacLennan
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 27, 2012
Words:258
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