Residents demand crackdown on off-road bikers at Wigan beauty spot after one kills a swan

Angry custodians of a Wigan beauty spot have demanded a crackdown on off-road vehicles after a swan was killed by one.

By Charles Graham
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 11:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 3:28 pm

Sydney (or Psycho as was sometimes called because of his protective nature) had been a popular feature of the Parson’s Meadow area – near Worsley Menses and Poolstock – for the past five years.

But early this month, he was left badly injured after being struck by an off-road bike.

Members of a group called the Red Ponders came to his aid and patched his injured leg up. But several days later he was found dead floating in the water and it is believed that he had died from hitherto undiagnosed internal injuries.

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Psycho the swan after his body had been retrieved

And the fear is that the reckless behaviour of the people illegally riding these two wheelers and quad bikes could next cause serious injury or even kill a human.

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The bikers have been such a menace that those who spoke to Wigan Today about the problem were fearful of being identified.

One woman said: “These people ride around without a care for anyone else and they are very intimidating.

Psycho the swan

"If you even look at them the wrong way, they go for you, flying past very close and at speed. There are children playing here. What if one of them gets hit? Even an adult could be seriously injured.

"Psycho is the latest in a litany of tragedies involving swans. A few years ago an idiot with a gun shot some of them, then last December when the ponds were frozen over, a dog got onto the ice and killed a pair of them.”

A member of the Red Ponders said: “He was a really good swan and it’s a crying shame that he’s been killed.

"There are bikes riding up and down here at lunatic speeds – 70 or 80mph sometimes – and woe betide anything that gets in the way."Parson’s Meadow is a lovely spot, a realy widlife and a few of us help to look after it, keeping things tidy, picking up litter, feeding the wildlife and so on, but these few bikers are spoiling it for everyone.

The swan's body is retrieved by dinghy

"The police need to get down here and sort things out before more birds – or even humans – are hit.”

Sydney (Psycho) and his family
Off-road bikers are proving a menace at Parson's Meadow