BMX riding teens who have been turning an historic Quarry Bank coppice into their own private bike track have left the wood looking like “an area of the Somme” - angry residents claim.
Bored youngsters have spent hours transforming a main pathway through Mears Coppice into their own custom BMX track with ramps and jumps.
But in the process they have wrecked a mature oak tree, various bushes, saplings and yew tree - according to concerned residents and dog walkers, who say enough is enough.
One annoyed Quarry Bank resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “Mears Coppice was a very pleasant place to enjoy, whether walking or riding a bike, but in the last few weeks teenagers have started to systematically destroy this important small English bluebell wood.
“My husband describes it as looking like an area of the Somme.”
Quarry Bank councillor Bryan Cotterill added: “The coppice is beautiful “They shouldn’t be doing this to a public right of way - and cutting down trees is unforgiveable. They should be taught the importance of trees, nature and the countryside.
“They should come and put the damage right. We should not allow those responsible to simply get away with it.”
He did, however, add: “Perhaps we should be looking at providing a facility for these young people.”
Councillor Tracy Wood, cabinet member for environment and culture, said Dudley Council, was aware of the problem and that officers would fill in the holes, tidy up the site and make safe any stumps that have been left .
She added: "Meanwhile our countryside wardens will be visiting the site, and liaising with the police and PCSOs, to remind the young people that they need to respect the area they are playing in.
“Although the area does not have any statutory designations as a nature reserve it is still well used by the community and we would ask residents to report any incidents of vandalism to the police on 0345 113 5000."
Councillor colleague Mo Hanif, who represents Lye and Wollescote, said: “The residents have been very upset about this but I think a compromise has been reached.
“The council is going to leave the ramps - if we take them away they will do it again.”
Quarry Bank PCSO Nick Woods said police would be carrying out regular patrols of the area and added: “We’ve been and spoken to a group of youths using the track they’ve made and told them to use the ramps at Stevens Park in Wollescote or at Black Horse Park in Dudley Wood Road, Netherton, where there’s a proper track.”