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Volunteers at Spalding nature reserve say they will not be beaten by mindless vandals




Volunteers say that mindless vandals will not stop their work on a nature reserve.

Supporters of Spalding’s Vernatts Nature Reserve were gutted to discover that thugs had ripped bird and bug boxes from trees and threw them onto the frozen pond earlier this week.

The bug box had been made by an 82-year-old man to help youngsters learn about nature while visiting the reserve, which is off Pinchbeck Road, and one of the bird boxes had been recently put up by a family.

Bird boxes and a bug hotel have been rescued from the lake at Vernatts Nature Reserve, Spalding (44147674)
Bird boxes and a bug hotel have been rescued from the lake at Vernatts Nature Reserve, Spalding (44147674)

Over the last two years, volunteers have given up their time to make Vernatts a litter-free family friendly place to visit.

One of the people behind the success is Pete Boekestyn.

He said: “The volunteers will not be beaten. The reserve has been ticking over beautifully for months with no trouble whatsoever.

Volunteers rescue the bird box from the lake at Vernatts Nature Reserve, Spalding (44147672)
Volunteers rescue the bird box from the lake at Vernatts Nature Reserve, Spalding (44147672)

“I would ask the people who have done this to think about what they are doing.

“This has been a valued space during lockdown. It has been a great place for children to visit while the schools are closed.

“They might be grown up enough one day to have children and want to take them down there. Please just respect it.”

Vandals had ripped the bird boxes and bug hotel from the trees at Vernatts Nature Reserve (44147676)
Vandals had ripped the bird boxes and bug hotel from the trees at Vernatts Nature Reserve (44147676)

The bug hotel, made by Chris Gannon, and the bird boxes, were found on the frozen lake on Monday between noon and 2pm.They were retrieved and repaired later that day by volunteers Simon Harrison and Steve Aylett.

Mr Boekestyn said there had been an big reaction on social media to the incident.

He said: “There were 370 angry comments and emojis.”

Volunteers have big plans for the reserve in the coming months with the planting of an orchard and flower meadow along with hopes of introducing bees to the site.

The reserve has become a haven for wildlife with three kingfishers, kestrels, buzzards and deer, along with Goosanders on the Vernatts Drain.



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