The brakes are being slammed on anti-social bikers who have reportedly caused 'mayhem' on Furness beaches.

Trouble began brewing in February when longer hours of daylight saw groups of scrambler bike riders disturb the peace for residents of South Walney Caravan Park.

This has recently become an issue for beaches in and near Askam as well.

The noisy machines roared along the sands and winding tracks facing the Irish Sea, which eventually resulted in caravan park owner Simon Mulgrew calling on Cumbria County Council – and the police – to intervene.

Concerns were also raised by South Walney Nature Reserve warden Sarah Dalrymple, who feared the bikers could damage rare plants and disrupt nesting birds.

“Since Christmas we have had dirt bikers and four-by-fours coming up on the roads and beaches in an area that is important for wildlife all year-round,” she said.

“This can also damage the plants in the shingles and sands which are also important in attracting wildlife.”

Ms Dalrymple explained that they are trying to promote the area to attract people from further afield, and anti-social behaviour will not help.

The issue was discussed by councillors, police and highways authority officers who agreed on a staged plan of action.

Walney South Labour county councillor Frank Cassidy said: “We want people to visit the southern part of the island.

PATROL: Police are looking to put a stop to the anti-social use of dirt bikes

PATROL: Police are looking to put a stop to the anti-social use of dirt bikes

“It has a world-famous nature reserve, a cracking caravan park and some dreamy views of Piel Island and the Lake District mountains.

“But we don’t want people riding roughshod over the coastline and causing mayhem where birds nest and where flowers grow.

“It is not okay for vehicles to disrupt the peace at the caravan park. Police have already confiscated three bikes, and other punitive measures can follow.”

Cumbria County Council has paid for a warning sign to be installed at Honeypot Lane, which leads to the western beaches.

“We are obliged to Cumbria County Council estates surveyor David Rawle who sorted the warning sign,”Cllr Cassidy added.

“We are also grateful to our police – particularly PCSO Phil Sullivan who has spent a lot of time on this.”

Cumbria police have promised to try and stamp out the issue by stepping up patrols.

A spokeswoman said: “Officers in Barrow have received an increase in calls regarding the anti-social use of off-road motorbikes on Walney beach.

“In response to the public’s complaints, traffic officers are focusing on these areas and have a number of dedicated operations planned to deal with anti-social behaviour.”