POLICE have launched patrols of heathland areas in Poole after a suspected arson and reports of motorbikes being ridden on the open space.

Officers from Poole Neighbourhood Policing Team said they have been conducting heath patrols.

This followed reprots of motorbikes being seen on Canford Heath and the major fire on Bourne Valley Nature Reserve over the weekend.

The police team called on residents to respect the heathlands and follow the established code:

  • No motorbikes or quads are allowed on the heath - this causes a danger to other users and wildlife
  • Do not start fires, This includes barbecues. Fires can be devastating, destroying the heath and killing hundreds of species that live there
  • When cycling, only use bridleways or paths where cycling is permitted
  • Keep to main tracks so as not to damage or disturb plants and wildlife, especially during nesting season
  • Be aware of basking reptiles and avoid harming or disturbing them
  • Be aware of other users, grazing animals and wildlife when cycling and keep pets under control when walking
  • Take dog mess and litter home as it is detrimental to the heathland and is a health risk to wildlife and other users.