MYSTERY surrounds a prankster who has left visitors unable to enjoy walks through the woods by blocking the footpaths with trees.
Ruislip Woods are popular with everyone from picnickers to dog walkers, and initially the large branches which have repeatedly appeared across its access ways were dismissed as a coincidence.
However, several concerned nature-lovers have noticed the frequency increasing in recent months and are convinced foul play is the reason behind it.
David Monroe, of Brickett Close, Ruislip, says he became sure this was the case when he personally began clearing paths only to find them blocked again a few days later.
He said: "About a week ago I went up to Mad Bess Wood with a hacksaw and spent five hours sawing logs until I had cleared 28 footpaths.
"I went back two days later and nearly all of them were blocked again.
"There are piles of logs coppiced around the wood and someone seems to be taking them from there and dragging them across the paths.
"I've also seen the same thing in Copse Wood and Park Wood.
"It's becoming like a personal battle between myself and whoever is doing this.
"It's not a laughing matter because there are laws in place to allow people to enjoy woodland and you can be fined up to £22,000 for breaching them.
"I hope the publicity either flushes the person out, or makes them realise the damage they are doing and they will hopefully stop."
Ruislip Woods ranger, Richard Hutton, has also been informed of the mystery, and said: "I think someone is doing it to stop bikes going along the paths.
"For some reason people take it into their own hands.
"When we see them we move them but we never catch people doing it.
"It's been happening for a couple of years.
"It's not a massive problem in the woods."
A spokeswoman for Hillingdon Council confirmed it did all it could to keep the woods accessible.
She urged people to contact the council's Customer Contact Centre on 01895 556 000 with any information about the culprits.