THREE bikers have caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to newly lain lawns at Rivington Terraced Gardens.

The males were spotted on scrambler bikes, speeding and driving dangerously around the historic site on Tuesday afternoon.

Freshly laid lawns have been damaged by the trio, which cost the Rivington Heritage Trust around £40,000 to lay.

Andrew Suter, manager of the terraced gardens for the Rivington Heritage Trust, said: “It’s incredibly frustrating to all the volunteers who gave up their time but the biggest issue for us is purely one of safety.

“The point where those bikes were pictures is close to the tennis lawn, with a number of young families around who were quite scared by what happened, some younger children were in tears.

“Hundreds of people shared the post and I’m sure that the individuals became aware that we had their pictures – word gets out.

“A group of bikers who meet at Rivington Hall Barn have been incredibly supportive and have expressed their disappointment at this behaviour.

“Hopefully we’ve made it quite clear that this isn’t the place to be doing it.”

The terraced gardens were created by industrialist and philanthropist Lord Leverhulme during the early 20th century and in their 1920s heyday, the gardens boasted lakes, waterfalls, pagodas, oriental tea houses and even a small zoo.

After Lord Leverhulme’s death in 1925, the lavishly beautiful gardens fell into decline, before the multi-million pound restoration project was created in 2016.

The gardens have been brought back to life by the project and the hard work of dedicated volunteers over the last few years, who regularly give up their spare time to clear vegetation, restore pathways and remove rubbish from the 45-acre site.

Public donations, grant funding from organisations like the Heritage Lottery Fund, and support from the local community have all played vital parts in the work, which hopes to conserve the site for future generations.

The bikers have been identified by members of the public, and their names have been passed onto the police.

Officers have also appealed for information after off-road bikes were spotted tearing around the playing fields behind Canon Slade School on Tuesday, with five bikes seen on New House Farm playing fields in Darcy Lever on Wednesday.

In both incidents, the riders sped off when they spotted the patrols.

Police have been patrolling the Bolton North area after issues with off-road bikes.