THE removal of cycle trails in woods on the Penrose Estate near Porthleven has met with a mixed response from bikers and walkers.

This week rangers at Penrose near Porthleven started work on removing a network of unauthorised mountain bike trails that they say have caused significant damage to wildlife habitats, historic features and farm infrastructure.

In a statement issued on Facebook the National Trust said the work puts a strain on already stretched resources keeping the estate accessible to everyone and they will be working with Devon and Cornwall Police to stop the trails being built again.

"The trails and their use create serious safety hazards for other visitors," it said. "We welcome responsible cycling on the Bridleway network at Penrose. This repair work pulls away our resources at a time when we are stretched and working hard on other tasks to keep Penrose accessible for everyone to enjoy.

"As a charity we manage Penrose to conserve it’s many special qualities and provide access for people to fresh air, natural beauty and nature. The impacts of these trails is serious, and we will continue to work with Devon and Cornwall Police over the long term to prevent this happening again.

"To everyone who visits, values and enjoys Penrose responsibly, thank you very much for ongoing support."

Falmouth Packet:

In 2018 Penrose National Trust opened a new bridleway for cyclists and walkers at Loe Bar. Photo: Penrose National Trust

But the action has been criticised by local residents including Steve Williams, a keen mountain biker who regularly rides in the area. He claimed that a head ranger had previously given a group of local cyclists permission to create new tracks away from the old the oak woodland.

"Once upon a time, back when NT were looking at improving accessibility around Penrose, a group of local cyclists met with the head Ranger and were told that they could create new tracks away from the main track so long as they stayed away from the old oak woodland. So, that is what has been done.

He added: "Penrose should be an area where we can share and enjoy the outside space without any aggro or disputes."

Joe King also questioned the estate's move he said: "Rather than just demolishing everything, can’t an area be provided for the more adventurous riders to use?

"There is plenty of space!

"I’ve seen some of these obstacles that have been built and was impressed by the effort that whoever built them has put into them.

"If it’s a specific area then it can be managed and there will be no risk of non users getting injured.

"Look at places like Lanhydrock. That has been fantastic for the more adventurous cyclist."

But the move was welcomed by other users of the popular estate.

Kaz Toms posted: "Brilliant work, l know we discussed this the other day, but there really is no need to lift your bike over a fence to ride across a field...let’s have a bit more respect for wildlife habitats etc ..follow the bridleways and hopefully we can all enjoy our environment."