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Teenager fined for damaging eco-sensitive bog in Land Rover

Land damaged and stone cairn destroyed after vehicle became stuck

A court’s heard a Ballaugh teenager’s Land Rover caused extensive damage to an ecologically sensitive bog when he got stuck in it.

Eighteen-year-old Benjamin William Long of Cronk Road appeared before magistrates at Douglas courthouse.

He pleaded guilty to driving elsewhere than on a highway and exceeding a greenway road’s weight limit on a hill near Sartfell.

Prosecution advocate Roger Kane said a member of the public spotted the vehicle in the middle of a churned up area on 19 June.

The court heard Long had bought the Land Rover a day earlier and took his younger brother on a test drive, taking it along a greenway with a half-tonne weight limit before turning off onto land owned by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.

When he got stuck, he damaged the land and then destroyed a stone cairn when he took the rocks from it to try to improve his traction.

Two other friends also got stuck when they drove up the hill to help free his vehicle but Long refused to name them to police.

He was fined a total of £1,000 and ordered to pay £50 towards prosecution costs.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture Minister Geoffrey Boot commented on the incident, he said: 'The Isle of Man is a special place and deserves the very best environmental protection.'
 
'These types of offences are notoriously difficult to detect and prosecute and I hope this substantial fine sends out a message that these types of incidents are taken very seriously.'

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Posted by Isle of Man Government on Friday, December 4, 2020

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