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Vandals target newly installed hedgehog boxes in Bury St Edmunds




A group working to create a nature trail in Bury St Edmunds have vowed not to give up after vandals targeted newly installed hedgehog boxes and other habitats for wildlife.

Councillor Richard Rout used his locality budget earlier this year to help with the purchase and installation of hedgehog, bird, owl and bat boxes and the creation of a heritage orchard with wild flower turf in the Horringer Court area of the town.

The boxes had already been moved once after they were vandalised – to a more secluded area near the River Linnet – but have been destroyed for a second time. Cllr Rout tweeted about the incident saying the hedgehog boxes had been vandalised and thrown in the river.

Cllr Richard Rout. Picture by Mark Westley.
Cllr Richard Rout. Picture by Mark Westley.

He said: “It is a great project and it has been really well received across Horringer Court. We will continue to try to deliver this project.

“It is such a shame that a very small minority of people would do this. However, we won’t be deterred we will try to find better, safer locations.”

And he said he planned to expand the nature trail to include insect hotels.

Cllr Rout added: “We have no idea who has done this. Whoever it is I am guessing they’re bored. That is the other issue that we need to address in the town.”

The boxes were installed by Greener Growth, a ommunity interest company which works with schools, prisons and disadvantaged groups to transform areas into habitats for wildlife, grow fruit and vegetables and provide rich biodiversities for plants and trees.

Joannah Metcalfe, founder and director of Greener Growth, said: “The issue comes when the kids haven’t worked with us yet and there isn’t an understanding of what we’re trying to do on the estate.

“I know that there has been a huge outcry from the community about the vandalism but that just goes to show how much they care about these projects and how positive they are. It is a very small percentage but it’s not going to put us off doing more.”

In April a bench – also placed by Greener Growth – was taken from a nature area on the town’s Howard estate.

The hedgehog boxes have now been repositioned and Cllr Rout said: “Thanks to Greener Growth for being so quick to retrieve and repair them.”



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