We’ve written a few posts about the conflicts of interest between off road dirt bikers and residents who want to be able to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in the countryside on their doorstep in Thurrock:
Contested spaces… – November 9, 2020
Someone’s been having a ‘churn up’! – January 21, 2021
We’ve done our level best to be as even handed as possible in covering this thorny issue, recognising that as off road dirt biking has a history in Thurrock going back decades, at some point a permanent venue really needs to be found for this activity. However, when we get this happening at the Thurrock Thameside Nature Discovery Park, our patience reaches its limits: Bike riders up to their dirty deeds again in wildlife park – 02.05.21. A fence was smashed down by dirt bikers so they could gain access to the park. Not only does this divert the resources of the Essex Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers who have to repair the damage, it also endangers the habitat of ground nesting birds. This crass stupidity is about as helpful as a kick in the nuts for those trying to make the case for a permanent venue for dirt biking.
As we’ve written previously, during the periods of lockdowns and tiered restrictions we’ve been living under since March 2020, having spaces on our doorstep such as the nature park has been a life saver. These spaces are where we can go for a few hours to forget about the stress of living through these weird times. They’re essential for our mental well being. They’re a vital community asset. The tearing down of the fence and the churning up of the ground by the dirt bikers is a direct assault on the community, end of…
We have absolutely no time for those who assault their community in this way. We’re not talking about people who are materially deprived in any way. Scrambler and quad bikes are fairly pricey pieces of kit. The people riding these dirt bikes come from households that have a bit of dosh to splash around. The problem is that some of them come from households that have no understanding of what community means, let alone any sense of responsibility towards it. They think of nothing but themselves. They are the product of decades of neo-liberal doctrine that has atomised society while encouraging a sense of narcissistic, selfish entitlement.
Back in our Independent Working Class Association days, these are the scum we described as the renegades within. That description perfectly fits the selfish, anti-social scumbags who smashed the fence down at the nature park. They attacked our community asset. They need to be told in no uncertain terms that this behaviour is not going to be tolerated or indulged in any way, shape or form.