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Forestry Commission gets waymarker blues

Ranger Becky Mayo painting bike trail waymarking posts in Sherwood Pines to deter futher thefts of the timber signs

The development of new trails at Sherwood Pines Forest Park in Nottinghamshire is being hindered by the theft of £2,000 worth of waymarking posts. Over 30 posts, standing up to two metres tall, have been stolen from the 3,000 acre wood. Quite why they’re being stolen nobody (except the thieves) knows, but they’re certainly going to some trouble.

“We’re at our wits end,” says Recreation Manager Chris Bray. “We’ve even put posts in concrete foundations, but chainsaws have been used to cart them off. We’re urging everyone to keep their eyes peeled and if they come across blue timbers then drop us or the police a line.”

The marker posts are part of a £300,000 investment in bike routes, and clearly every time they go missing some of that money has to go to replacing them rather than actually building the new trails, due for opening next month. The new trails include a three-mile family-friendly “blue trail”, a 10 mile XC route, a six mile “adventure” trail and a skills loop near the visitor centre.

In an effort to deter the postnabbers, the replacement waymarkers have been painted blue. The hope is that this will make them harder for the thieves to sell on. There’s a “fence post” gag in there somewhere, but this is serious stuff.

“Volunteer trailbuilders, funding partners and rangers have sweated to make this project a success and create a world class centre of biking excellence,” adds Chris Bray. “The last thing we need is for crooks to slow progress.”

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of the stolen posts they are asked to contact the Forestry Commission on 01623 822447, or email chris.bray@forestry.gsi.gov.uk .

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