Enduro bike riders have this week been seen damaging the countryside.
Now visitors and locals are being urged to use the greenlanes appropriately.
They should ride away from these rural, designated tracks on open hill land and plantations, and are being told not to disturb livestock or wildlife.
This comes from a joint statement from the government, police, the Auto-Cycle Union and Manx National Farmers’ Union.
Riding an off-road motorbike or 4x4 away from marked greenlanes or public highways is an offence under section 28 of the Road Traffic Act – an offence which carries a fine, potential licence endorsements and may also lead to ACU sanctions to any members who receive prosecutions.
In addition to this, both the Forestry Act 1984 and the Wildlife Act 1990 may be used in relation to illegal access and disturbance of wildlife and habitats.
A separate group was also seen riding on Snaefell at the same time, according to the statement.
‘Illegal riding of this nature causes damage to our local habitats, wildlife and disturbs livestock,’ it said.
‘The reckless disturbance of livestock in any area close to the TT course not only endangers riders, marshals and spectators but in this case is also harmful to one of Britain’s most threatened birds of prey – the hen harrier.
‘Hen harriers are ground nesting birds and are highly susceptible to disturbance, and the Manx uplands supports the highest density of breeding hen harrier in the British Isles.’
It’s acknowledged that the majority of visitors are ‘legally and respectfully’ using the greenlanes and greenway roads, and some are regularly used to access some of the more remote vantage points during road closures.
Anyone using the lanes for this purpose are being asked to ensure they stick to the designated tracks, do not disturb any livestock or wildlife, and to remove any rubbish or litter when they leave.
The statement said: ‘The miles of unsurfaced highways on the island provide access to our countryside for off-road motorcyclists, 4x4s, horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians in a way that also protects the natural habitats around us.
‘All visitors and locals who wish to use the greenlanes and greenway roads should purchase the Outdoor Leisure Map available from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal and local bookshops.
‘The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) and the police are making inquiries regarding the riders and photos circulating on social media.’
To report any suspected illegal access contact either the police on 631212 or the DEFA ranger team on 07624 205250.