By Sarah Featley
Bird hides at Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve, located in the Great Ouse Valley near Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes, have been subject to a spate of vandalism.
Although the area was only officially opened by The Parks Trust in August this year, since that time there has been a near continual stream of vandalism to the site.
This has included breaking the locks to the hides, smearing excrement around the hides, kicking the floor out to create large holes, damaging the shutters and guttering, and shelves being pulled off the walls.
Unfortunately, the vandalism has now culminated in the walls of one of the bird hides being used for air rifle target practice, with obscene graffiti scrawled on the benches.
The Parks Trust is working closely with Thames Valley Police to identify those responsible for this vandalism. CCTV cameras have also been installed in the area.
Rob Riekie, Landscape and Operations Director for The Parks Trust, commented: “It is incredibly frustrating to have the bird hides damaged so recklessly so soon after they were opened, particularly when we have had some very positive feedback from genuine users of the site.
“We are concerned that if firearms are being used, the temptation may be to target the many birds, livestock and other animals that are in the area.
“Examining the pattern of the damage seems to suggest it is being caused by people entering from the Haversham Road car park side of the reserve. We ask that other users of the nature reserve, and nearby residents, remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to either ourselves or Thames Valley Police.”
For more information, please visit www.theparkstrust.com