Sheep Rescued Following Vandalism at Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve | News | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Sheep Rescued Following Vandalism at Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

Thursday 16th April

Sheep Rescued Following Vandalism at Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

Staff and volunteers have had to rescue 12 sheep and lambs and round up other sheep and cattle at its Idle Valley Nature Reserve near Retford following an unprecedented level of vandalism to a large number of sections of livestock fencing at the reserve. The animals rescued had become tangled in sections of damaged barbed wire, whilst others had been able to escape from their grazing areas at the reserve – the largest site cared for by the charity.

Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers have so far recorded around 150 separate sections of damage fencing in the past couple of days and it estimates that the repair bill will run into thousands of pounds. To help recover the costs, the Wildlife Trust has set up a special donations page

Both adult sheep and new born lambs have been affected and the charity’s staff and volunteers have struggled to cope with the level of damage which has occurred at the worst possible time of year – right in the middle of lambing season. In one incident a ewe and a day old lamb were trapped in the wire. The charity doesn’t yet know who is committing the acts of vandalism or why. Speaking about the problems, Head of Communications Erin McDaid said: “Whoever is doing this has clearly got no regard for animal welfare or the financial cost to us as a charity. The level of extra work and stress being caused to our dedicated staff and volunteers is also unacceptable.”

Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers were already busy caring for over 170 lambs that had been born into its ‘flying flock’ of Hebridean and Herdwick sheep over the past few weeks. Animals may now need to be moved to other sites and some areas of important habitat may not get the level of grazing they require this year. It is estimated that the repairs will take at least seven weeks to complete.

A similar incident in 2012, which resulted in fewer animals getting caught in the fencing cost the charity over £6000 in materials and staff time to rectify.

Mr McDaid added: “Our staff and volunteers work so hard to care for our nature reserves and our conservation grazing programme, which is based at the Idle Valley, benefits dozens of important wildlife areas across the county. It is sickening that people can commit such pointless and reckless crimes without a thought for others or the animals involved. We have reported the incident to the local police and we would urge anyone with any information to come forward.”

Anyone with information relating to the incident or should contact Retford Police on 01909 500999

If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of the repairs to our stock fencing please click here to visit our special campaign page. You can also donate via your phone – simply Text IDLE13 £5 to 70070 to donate to NOTTS WILDLIFE TRUST and make a difference today. (Please note that you can set your own donation amount by replacing the '5' with any other amount).

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