3 Cornwall nature reserves attacked by arsonists30/03/2009 22:33:53 5 separate attacks on 3 nature reserves
Over the past month wildlife in Cornwall has suffered a major blow with three arson attacks on different nature reserves. Cornwall Wildlife Trust have suffered three separate attacks on their nature reserves. The first, during February half term, was on the bird hide at their Nansmellyn Marsh Nature Reserve, which was deliberately set alight. Subsequently Tregonetha Downs Nature Reserve has been repeatedly burned and on 20th March, Rosenannon Downs nature reserve was attacked.
Sean O'Hea, Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Reserves Officer for Mid Cornwall says, "It's soul destroying. You are doing something beneficial for the community, and then someone comes along and makes all your efforts feel pointless. The good news is that the police have caught the culprits and are prosecuting, so I hope that teaches them a lesson."
Hen harrier sighting
Sean O'Hea, Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Reserves Officer for Mid Cornwall says, "These fires are started by people who clearly don't understand the damage they are doing. Controlled burns are an important way of managing heathlands, but they must be done at the right time of year, and areas to be burned should be planned and small in proportion to the overall size of the site. The fires that have burned Tregonetha and Rosenannon Downs are nothing of the sort, a huge proportion of the overall land area has been burned at a time when birds are beginning to nest. We're working hard to provide the best possible habitats for wildlife on limited resources, so it's awful when some thoughtless person ruins it all by starting fires."
Wind breaks ineffective
It is not clear who is carrying out these attacks, but it is clear that they are causing a great deal of damage and wasting a huge amount of the fire brigade's time and resources. Cornwall Wildlife Trust will prosecute the culprits if they are found. If anyone has any information on who could be carrying out the attacks please could they let Crimestoppers know on 0800 555 111.