Following a spate of incidents where off-road vehicles including quad-bikes and motorbikes have damaged country-lanes, bridleways and footpaths, the CLA is warning farmers, land managers and walkers to be alert and be ready to report perpetrators to the police.

“Off-road vehicles damage our rural environment including vital drainage channels and cause stress to livestock,” says Charles de Winton, CLA Cymru rural surveyor.

"At this time in-lamb ewes are highly vulnerable and field-drains and culverts are vital to prevent flooding.

“Convoys of thrill-seekers are abusing rights-of-way which are equestrian or for walkers. In some places severe damage has been done.”

An ancient burial-mound monument near Newport was recently damaged by off-roaders.

Mr de Winton added “In the Welsh countryside, not only do we see the damage but we witness off-roaders first-hand. It’s not clear if they do not know their actions are illegal and damaging – or if they don’t care.

“Abuse of the countryside is as-bad as it has ever been.

The Welsh Government is exploring ways to increase access. Land managers understand the public good this serves to the community. However safeguards need to be put in place to prevent the unintended consequence of Government-policy being the direct cause of crime in the countryside.

“Our advice is that if it is safe to do, take a photo of evidence and report to the police on 101. The police will welcome information about apparent hot-spots or favoured routes by off-roaders – and the frequency they appear to be used.”