Farmers have called for plans to run all-terrain vehicle tours on the Railway Trail to be ditched.

The Bermuda Farmers’ Association said yesterday that the proposal was “highly contentious”.

The group said the vehicles would cause air and noise pollution, as well as have the potential to damage vegetation and soil, and increase erosion.

Farmers added that ATVs in parks like Hog Bay would cause “deep ruts” on trails, damage roots and ground cover, as well as spreading weeds.

The statement called Bermuda’s farmers the “stewards” of parkland in areas such as Hog Bay, a 32-acre reserve in Sandys next to extensive arable land.

A “living museum” has evolved, catering to cyclists, runners and bird-watchers — but the group said allowing ATVs on to protected land “cannot be permitted for very sound reasons”.

It added: “The relevant authority must make the correct decision and rescind any increase in the use of mechanised vehicles on these most important assets.”

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