Ouch! Cyclists a prickly subject in idyllic Shropshire village - with video
Residents of a quaint Shropshire village have been warned to look out for drawing pins and other sharp objects after hundreds were found scattered across country roads.
Chairman of Badger Parish Council, Councillor Terry Lipscombe, claimed the act was aimed at scuppering cyclists who have previously had run-ins with disgruntled villagers, in the settlement north of Bridgnorth.
The idyllic village is set in the deep wooded valley known as the Badger dingle. Its name is not actually taken from the large black and white creature but is instead believed to derive from a combination of a potential Anglo-Saxon settler and a description of the surrounding environment.
It was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, has a population of around 140 and was designated as a conservation area back in 1993.
The image of saboteurs preparing to thwart and potentially injure cyclists is thoroughly at odds with the chocolate-box image thrown up by a village that serves as a reminder of yesteryear.
And it is not even the first time it has happened with 73-year-old Councillor Lipscombe revealing he has seen pins used in a police stinger-like fashion on a number of occasions, with one resulting in a neighbour picking 27 out of her car tyre.
The latest carpet of tacks was found on Saturday morning and consisted of a stretch of about 150 individual pins strewn across a popular cycle path.
"Once can be accidental, twice is a strange occurrence, but seeing this on three separate occasions suggests someone's deliberately out to harm cyclists and their bikes," said councillor Lipscombe.
"The fact these pins are being found on a Saturday morning also suggests someone knows that's a good day to affect cyclists coming through Badger."
The peculiar booby-traps are just one of the unusual happenings that sets the quirky, idyllic village that straddles the Shropshire and south Staffordshire border apart from the rest.
Not one shop, cafe or pub sits in the High Street, yet shelter can be found under the bus stop, which boasts one of the select few in Britain with a thatched roof.
Hostilities have so far been focussed around the three roads that meander their way into the centre of the village, although councillor Lipscombe said he believes the issue with cyclists is no more apparent in Badger than in any other nearby town or village.
"It is possible that other locations have had the same problem so I'm not sure whether the culprit is from outside Badger or, I dread to think, a local resident," he added.
"You can completely disregard what you may have read from other media sources that have blown the issue completely out of proportion – but it is something that needs highlighting nonetheless as it stands to be a danger to children, animals and anything that may use our roads.
"There may be one or two people in the village that get fed up of cyclists but I don't think it's a particularly big issue here – you sometimes see cyclists hogging the middle of the road, but you also see some drivers speeding around corners before suddenly meeting one, it's the same everywhere."