Firearm danger in Milton Keynes nature reserve

Trigger happy vandals are using bird hide shelters at a nature reserve as TARGETS for air rifle practice.

Wednesday, 7th December 2016, 3:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:51 pm

Now the Parks Trust has installed secret CCTV cameras in a bid to catch the culprits.

They say there has been a continual stream of vandalism at Old Wolverton’s Floodplain Forest nature reserve every since it opened in August.

And they fear that the callous crooks could shoot birds and other wildlife next.

The reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise for breeds including lapwings, redshanks, ringed plovers and oystercatchers.

Wildfowl are nesting on its islands and there are also several species of bats.

Offenders have broken the locks on the bird hides, kicked holes through the floors, pulled shelves off walls and even smeared excrement over them.

Parks Trust operation director Rob Riekie said: “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.”

Police are now working with the Parks Trust to identify and punish the vandals.

Rob said: “Examining the pattern of the damage seems to suggest it is being caused by people entering 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.