Back in the 70s and 80s Canford Heath was an amazing off road paradise used for recreation by children all the way up to world class athletes. It was biking heaven.

Riding on the tracks and gravel paths maintained valuable fire breaks. If there was a fire it was stopped from spreading.

The powers that be in their wisdom closed it down and we lost an amazing training facility and the fires got bigger.

I contacted the Echo and made a plea for an area of the heath to be provided for much needed off road recreation. I stated at the time that we motorcyclists protected our beloved heath by maintaining fire breaks at zero cost. My plea fell on deaf ears.

Now that the ‘experts’ have had their way and re-wilded the heath they alone are responsible for turning small fires into raging infernos.

Global warming is making heathland and forests dryer year by year. Steps must be taken everywhere to create and maintain fire breaks as seen in Portugal and Spain to restrict the spread of fire and give our firefighters a chance.

By working with motorcycle and cycle clubs events could be held during the winter months whilst the reptiles are in hibernation to maintain the gravel paths free of charge.

With the advent of electric bikes these would be low noise pollution free events reopening a much loved facility whist restricting the fires and benefitting greatly the flora and fauna.

Stop the fires, build the tracks. Bikes are not the problem – they are the solution.

Clifford Harrison

New Milton