Appeal for help after ‘mindless’ vandals wreck wildlife haven

The vandalism left significant damage at Monkton Community Woodland.

The vandalism left significant damage at Monkton Community Woodland.

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An appeal has been launched to help pay for repairs after a “mindless” vandalism spree at a South Tyneside wildlife haven.

Damage was caused at Monkton Community Woodland, in Hebburn, earlier this month, with a trail of destruction discovered by a wildlife enthusiast.

Monkton Community Woodland has been described as a 'rural haven'.

Monkton Community Woodland has been described as a 'rural haven'.

A 20ft bird watching screen and feeding equipment was destroyed, while planks of wood were smashed, sparking a Northumbria Police investigation.

The area is a popular space for families, dog walkers, joggers and cyclists, and is owned by the Land Trust charity.

In the park, there is an array of woodland paths, 30,000 trees and shrubs, and wildlife habitats for rare birds and butterflies.

It is managed on behalf of the Land Trust by Groundwork South Tyneside, and both parties have now called on the community to rally round and help fund repairs which could cost more than £2,000.

Alan Carter, from the Land Trust, said: “The community has embraced Monkton Woodland Community and I’m sure everyone is disgusted with mindless and destructive acts of vandalism that spoil everyone’s enjoyment of the park.

“As a charity operating on restricted funds and reliant on the time and effort of volunteers, the cost of repairing this damage will be a challenge, and we hope the public and local businesses will be able to help us in raising funds.

“Any help would make a positive contribution – not only to the park but to the different generations of people who benefit immensely from visiting the woodland.”

The damage was discovered by a wildlife enthusiast, who alerted police.

He said: “It has been a voluntary project and a lot of people have worked really hard and done a really good job at the woodland.

“I was there just after 8am and it was completely obliterated.

“Whoever did it has gone into a frenzy. This is a rural haven for South Tyneside and I don’t know why anyone would do this.”

To donate money to help repair the damage, visit https://www.justgiving.com/thelandtrust, email enquiries@thelandtrust.org.uk or call 01925 852005.