Police patrols are helping at nature reserve

Wildlife preservation volunteer George Millins at the Nature reserve site which is being used for drinking sessions at night, people leaving litter, fly tipping and even leaving drug paraphernalia. ANL-141108-200909009
Wildlife preservation volunteer George Millins at the Nature reserve site which is being used for drinking sessions at night, people leaving litter, fly tipping and even leaving drug paraphernalia. ANL-141108-200909009
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Regular patrols are helping to reduce vandalism and anti-social behaviour at a nature reserve, according to police.

Police Community Support Officer Grant Skeggs said walkers had been forced to avoid Shawlands Wood nature reserve because of drink and drug-fuelled youths gathering at the site.

Volunteers have since carried out litter picks to remove rubbish, including drug paraphernalia, from the reserve in Great Cornard.

“Hopefully it’s looking clearer than it has done in the past, and most of the litter has been removed,” said Pcso Skeggs, part of the Sudbury and Great Cornard Safer Neighbourhood Team.

“I am trying to make as many patrols as I can. We want it to go back to being used by local residents as they said it was preventing them from going there.”

He said the latest issue he was facing at the site was motorcyclists using the tracks and off-road terrain in the woods.

George Millins, Suffolk Wildlife Trust member and a volunteer at the reserve, said he and fellow helper Adrian Beckham had cleared large amounts of rubbish that had accumulated, but said it was common for levels of litter to decrease in the winter.

Mr Millins said he was confident regular patrols would help ensure anti-social behaviour was reduced at the reserve and, in turn, help the wildlife.

“Any appearance by the police is always the best deterrent,” he said.

“I’m sure Mr Skeggs will keep on top of it. It is important to wildlife as broken bottles can hurt badgers and other wildlife just as they can hurt dogs.”

In September, Mr Beckham was shocked to find the amount of rubbish left in the woods.

As well as drug paraphernalia, deodorant cans had been exploded and bottles smashed, making the area unsafe for children and pets and dangerous for wildlife.

Mr Millins has asked for more volunteers to help at the site. Contact the trust on 01473 890089 for more information on how to get involved.