THE City of Greater Bendigo has removed dirt bike jumps in White Hills after a resident witnessed a rider narrowly avoid colliding with a young girl.
The resident was alarmed by the incident, which happened at a new dirt jump overlooking a walking track near the Bendigo Creek.
"An elderly person would not have been so agile (as the girl) and would have been injured," the resident said.
She asked not to be named.
Multiple concerned residents are understood to have approached the council this week about jumps which young people recently created in a natural reserve between Bendigo Creek and The Boulevard.
The council began removing them on Thursday, parks and open spaces manager Paul Gangell said.
"Yes they will be removed by the city and the area made safe for all users of the reserve," he said.
"Mounding earth and building jumps across footpaths is very serious and could result in serious injury or worse to users of this public space."
Mr Gangell said the council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning could have been liable for any injuries.
He said they posed a range of other risks.
Digging inside a tree protection zone could undermine native plants, forcing their removal. Digging could also potentially pierce dirt caps covering contaminated material from Bendigo's mining past, Mr Gangell said.
He confirmed that the jumps were built without authorisation and noted that altering crown land is banned without permission under Victorian law.
"While bike riding in the reserve is allowed, adjusting landscapes for this purpose is not," Mr Gangell said.
He said it was important that if and when permission is granted, jumps are built properly.
"This ensures that jumps are appropriate for people of different ability levels and the soil is tested to ensure there is no contamination present," Mr Gangell said.
He encouraged young people to use bike loops at the nearby Waterview Drive play space, or to visit the council's website, which has a range of "more adventurous " biking activities.
The site does not list any BMX jumps in the White Hills area.
It does show details for six others within Bendigo city limits as well as a number of others in rural parts of the municipality.