A NUMBER of lethal homemade traps, which could cause serious injuries to walkers, runners and cyclists, were recently found in Lampeter.
Several of the homemade hazards, which are made up of a length of wooden board with a number of sixinch rusty nails sticking out of the top, were found on the woodland cycle paths at Upper Forest.
The first terrifying trap was found, luckily before it caused any serious damage, by Elen Page whilst she was out running along the Upper Forest path.
The spikes had been disturbingly concealed with leaves and twigs to blend in with the natural environment, in what appears to be an effort to injure people using the path or to puncture the tyres of cyclists’ bikes.
Elen said: “I just happened to look down as I was about to step on it and I stopped myself just in time.
She believed that the trap had been set in a bid to deter cyclists, but that it could have easily caused “serious harm” to not only cyclists, but walkers, runners, children and dogs who all frequent the popular path.
Elen took the device directly to Lampeter Police Station to report the incident, worrying that there could be more lying around concealed.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who are currently investigating the incident, are encouraging footpath users not only in Upper Forest but in nearby areas to remain alert as it is clear that attempts have been made to conceal these devices.
Steve Cresswell, Operational Resource Manager at Natural Resources Wales, said: “Forests are a fantastic resource to the nation and are used by residents and visitors for leisure, which benefits their health.
“We have been alerted of the presence of these spikes by residents walking these paths and staff have been out to investigate.
“The police have been alerted to this matter and warn people who use these paths to be vigilant and report any further sightings to our incident hotline on 0800 807060.”
Sadly, Elen’s fears were confirmed when local man Grenville Evans and his two sons found more of the homemade traps at the Upper Forest site.
Grenville managed to collect a further four traps from a variety of different locations on the footpath hidden under moss and leaves, immediately reporting this to the police.
PC Damon Watmough of Dyfed- Powys Police said: “Police in Lampeter can confirm a member of the public handed in wooden logs with nails sticking out of them. He informed officers that they were found on a path in forestry on the outskirts of Lampeter.
“Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) have carried out house-to-house enquiries to make local residents aware of the items and asking them to be vigilant if using the paths in that area.
“We have issued a warning to local residents to be vigilant when using the paths in that area and to report anything suspicious to us at Lampeter Police Station by calling 101.
“If anyone finds more items of a similar nature I would urge them to hand them in at the police station to ensure the safety of the public.”
Councillor Robert ‘Hag’ Harries, Deputy Mayor of Lampeter, said that the discovery of the homemade rusty nail devices was both disturbing and wholly unexpected.
Cllr Harries continued: “Obviously we are very disturbed by these events. The traps could cause serious injury to anyone treading or falling on them.
“As a runner myself I have never heard of any such event in this area during the the last 40 years.
“I would ask anyone who sees anything to report it to the police and Natural Resources Wales.”