Hides vandalised at Somerset reserve


Three hides have been vandalised at a Somerset nature reserve.

People broke into the hides at the Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve in Portishead in mid-January. Chains and locks were cut through, doors, door latches and windowsills damaged and benches removed. Fencing around the hides was also bent and damaged and litter discarded across the site and in the huts.

Vandals have once again targeted bird hides at Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve (Safer Stronger North Somerset).

An appeal has now been launched for information to find those responsible. A spokesman for the Safer Stronger North Somerset Team said: "The nature reserve, on the edge of the Severn Estuary between Portishead and Royal Portbury Dock, is beautifully maintained thanks to the tireless efforts of the Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve Volunteers.

"Take a moment to imagine how these hardworking volunteers feel when they see this vandalism. Not only does this present a danger to wildlife on the reserve, it costs us to clean up and repair the damage caused, as well as diverting contractors away from other tasks.

"We'd like to speak to anyone who may know who's responsible. We need your support so that, together with the police, we can take prompt and robust action against anti-social behaviour. Please say something if you see something."

The hides were put in at the reserve more than a decade ago. This is not the first time they have been targeted by vandals. Over the past couple of years, the wooden structures, which have benches inside them, have become a magnet for anti-social behaviour with reports that local teenagers have used them to drink and take drugs until the early hours.

The cost of the damage is now running into thousands of pounds. Anyone with information about the latest vandal attack should call the police on 101.