Welsh sheep are being terrified by night-time mountain bikers, claim farmers in Flintshire.
Shepherds and graziers in the Halkyn Mountain area say the cyclists, who take to the hollows and bumps of the mountain wearing headtorches, are causing pregnant ewes to lose their lambs.
Local walkers are being asked to keep dogs on a lead as police step up patrols to catch errant bikers. Farmers are also worried about the impact of the influx of visitors on the land, which is a Site of Special Scientific Importance.
County councillor Colin Legge told the Daily Post he had been approached by several concerned graziers. He said: “I can only assume the cyclists go up there at night in search of adventure.
“I’m not against people having fun but at this time of year pregnant ewes and new-born lambs are very vulnerable.”
Quad bikers and off-road motorcyclists also cause problems for sheep farmers in the area. Trefor Hollingsworth, who has 150 ewes at his farm at Rhesycae, said he is often met with abuse when he asks for dogs to be kept on a lead and for bikers to behave responsibly.
He said the situation was so bad, he was considering giving up farming on Halkyn Mountain after 50 years.
Most of Halkyn Mountain, south of Holywell (Treffynnon), is open access land.