South Shields park searched over fears more danger traps could be found

Coun Norman Dick.
Coun Norman Dick.

A sweep of a South Tyneside park - following the discovery of a lethal wildlife trap - has found no more devices lurking in wooded areas.

The spring-loaded fenn trap was found by a dog walker at the weekend in woodland just off the main central path in the West Park, South Shields.

It led to council workers carrying out a sweep of the area on the hunt for other traps that may have been laid.

The search found no more devices but Coun Norman Dick and chairman of the Friends of West Park, is urging residents to continue to be vigilant.

He said: “A search of the area found no other traps, but I would ask people to continue to be vigilant when out and about.

“For someone to leave a trap like this, or any trap, in a park used by families is quite worrying.

A thoughtless and dangerous action taken by someone who has no regard for public safety or the safety of our wildlife.

Coun Dick

“A thoughtless and dangerous action taken by someone who has no regard for public safety or the safety of our wildlife.

“It doesn’t bear thinking about what injuries could have been sustained if it had been discovered by a child.

“I would ask anyone who frequents the park to remain vigilant and to report anything they come across as suspicious to the council or police.”

The trap - designed to kill small wildlife - was discovered with the limb of what is thought to be a small animal still attached.

The device is now in the hands of the police.

The council confirmed it does not use such traps and snares for pest control and that it is also illegal to set up a trap without the landowner’s permission.

Speaking on Tuesday following the find, Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety said: “It is also illegal to set up a trap without the landowner’s permission and we would never consent to one being left in a public place.”

Visitors to the park or other public land who come across any such mechanism are advised to stay well clear and to report it to the council on 0191 424 7000 so that arrangements can be made for its removal.