Cyclists have spoken of their shock after yobs left potentially deadly booby traps on a trail at a beauty spot.
Mountain rescuers put bikers on alert after discovering the traps had been laid in a plantation near Dovestone Reservoir in Saddleworth, Oldham.
The area is used by cyclists of all abilities including children, parents, members of cycling clubs – and two of Britain’s best downhill racers.
A message on the Oldham Mountain Rescue Team website said: “A number of deliberate traps have been found around the Chew Plantation near Dove Stone Reservoir. These include black cords tied between trees and unstable boulders placed in the landing zone for jumps and drop-offs.
“These traps have the ability to cause lethal injury. Any information relating to them should be passed to the police.”
News of the traps has shocked World Cup mountain bikers Jack Reading and Tom Braithwaite, who both train in Saddleworth. Jack said: “This could kill somebody – it’s disgraceful. I can’t understand this because I’ve never seen any conflict between cyclists and other people in the area. People are always very friendly.”
Tom said: “It’s absolutely shocking that someone would do something like this.”
Steve Penrice, from The Cyclery bike shop in Uppermill, said: “Riders can go up to 30mph on descents – something like this could decapitate somebody. It’s a worrying situation, it’s very serious. There are teenagers riding up there and they could be hurt.”
Tim Mitchell, secretary of the Saddleworth Clarion Cycle Club, said: “Luckily no one has been injured, but this could have led to a fatality if someone was going downhill at speed. I can’t believe someone would do that. It’s dangerous and a bit sad.”
A GMP spokesman said: “Police in Oldham have been made aware by the local mountain rescue team that informal cycle routes around Dove Stone Reservoir had been deliberately sabotaged. The situation will be monitored.”