Shropshire Star

Anger as mystery saboteurs return to Shropshire path

Saboteurs have returned to lay traps on a Shropshire bridleway used by walkers, riders and cyclists, despite warnings from police.

Broken glass, tins, branches and twine previously left on the footpath

An unknown person has dug deep holes, which have then been covered to disguise them to unsuspecting walkers, along a public path which runs off the A458 at Muckley Cross, near Much Wenlock, towards the Willey Estate and Shirlett, known as Dennis Lane.

Bridleway association members are calling for anyone with information to come forward, warning the traps could result in someone being seriously hurt.

In April it was revealed the path had been deliberately and repeatedly sabotaged with broken glass, tins, branches and twine by an unknown person, sparking fears for horse riders and cyclists.

Despite an investigation and police warnings, the saboteur has now returned.

Elaine Newton, chairwoman of the Broseley Bridleways Association, said the fresh incidents were brought to her attention by a friend who was riding her horse along the path.

Mrs Newton, 68, said: "My friend who live around Bridgnorth ended up going down this hole

"She was very fortunate that her horse missed two of the holes but its leg went into the third.

"How she managed to stay on and how the horse didn't break its leg, I don't know."

She said she had been along to see the holes and discovered they had been covered over with twigs and clay in an attempt to hide them from view from unsuspecting trail users.

She said: "The holes are about 12 inches across and about 18 inches deep. I'm an ex-game keeper and I recognise them as being made with something called a 'graff' which is used for rabbitting holes.

"It must be a country person that's doing this."

She said it is not just experienced riders who use the path and such traps could put children at risk.

"There are kids going down there on little ponies with skinny legs," she said.

"This could have had serious implications and could have been a small child ending up with the pony on top of them.

"I'm classed as disabled and I have to go with a walking stick. Most of that walking stick would go down into the hole," she added.

She said West Mercia Police had been informed.

"If anyone has any idea who is doing this wilful damage please contact the police, Willey Estate office or myself," she added.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said previously: “The reason for this behaviour is not currently known, however, it appears to be a deliberate effort to discourage use of the bridleway.

“What ever the reason, the behaviour is unacceptable and needs to stop.”

Anyone who has information can contact police by calling 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at