Derbyshire bird-watching spot destroyed by 'vandals'

The scene after fire destroyed the hide in Mapperley Wood on Saturday.
The scene after fire destroyed the hide in Mapperley Wood on Saturday.

A nature reserve hide in Mappeley Wood has been burnt down by vandals over the weekend.

Mapperley Wood Nature Reserve Vandalised

Claire Hanley of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said the spot used by local wildlife watchers was 'vandalised' by an assumed arsonist on Saturday, March 25.

She said: "We are incredibly disappointed at the loss of the bird hide at Mapperley Wood Nature Reserve as it was enjoyed by many local people and had been there for many years. The reserve is one with good accessibility and the hide was adapted to allow full wheelchair access, and was very popular with wildlife photographers."

Kate Lemon, reserves officer said: “Vandalism is not common on our reserves and incidents of this severity are very rare, which probably makes it more disheartening when a tiny minority spoil things. Unfortunately bird hides are not cheap to replace; as we are a charity we will need to fundraise to replace it. Even if we raise the money quickly there will now be a gap where people can’t stop to enjoy the surroundings in Mapperley Wood.”

Firefighters were called by local fishermen to the site after they spotted smoke at the reserve, and the Trust is now now raising funds to replace the hide with a new, flame retardant one so that everyone can continue to enjoy watching the wildlife at the wood.

Mapperley Wood sits on the southern edge of Shipley Country Park, and contains some of the county's most vulnerable habitats, including mature oak woodland, wetland and a small area of acid grassland. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust provided an accessible hide on the reserve for permit holders to watch and appreciate the wildlife of the area, which includes birds such as coot, moorhen, mallard and kingfisher.

To donate towards the replacement of the hide, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/mapphide.

Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to contact the police on 101 quoting crime number 17000130088