VANDALS and hooligans have trashed two important “green” sites in Warrington – angering conservationists and gardeners.
Revellers Wrecked the Houghton Green Pool Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) – while mindless vandals caused extensive damage at the Sow Brook allotments at Lymm.
The incident at Houghton Green Pool came only weeks after members of Warrington Nature Conservation Forum (WNCF) had cleaned it up, removing 23 large sacks of rubbish.
WNCF chairman Cllr Geoff Settle said: “I am disgusted and disappointed to find this mess. It’s like a slap in the face to our hard working members and the wildlife they are trying to protect.
“There are many threatened ‘Red List’ species of birds that fly to this site to breed. They include the Corn Bunting, Lapwings and Little Ringed Plovers – a Schedule 1 species.
“The revellers brought boxes of beer, beef burgers, mini BBQs and those who hadn’t brought fuel for their BBQ simply tore down and burnt the nearest footpath ‘kissing gate'”.
Cllr Settle said as a footpath warden, he had seen youths on scrambler bikes tearing up and down footpaths on the banks of the Mersey at Woolston.
They gained access by wrecking fences and gates on Weir Lane – in a similar manner to what they had done at the Woodland Trust’s Radley Plantation.
He added: “In the case of Houghton Green Pool these people are trespassing on private land. The landowner tries his best to maintain the rights of way access points at his own expense. Unfortunately it looks as though he has come to the end of his tether and there is now a sign advertising the 47 acre site for sale”.
A single night of wanton destruction at Sow Brook Allotments left nearly every shed and greenhouse damaged.
Allotment holder Les Jordan said: “The reason for the damage is not clear as little or no theft has taken place. Local police are investigating and promise to increase patrols in the area.
“If anyone has any information please inform the local police.”
Pictured: Top: a damaged kissing gate at Houghton Green. Right: a vandalised shed at Sow Brook Allotments.