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"Shock and anger" over treatment of Hampshire green spaces

Picture credits: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

The CEO of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has said she's "shocked, upset and angry" over the treatment of their nature reserves and is calling on people to "stop thrashing the nature that we all depend on".

It follows incidents where the Trust say people have been spraying racist graffiti, fighting other with broken bottles and dumping their disposable BBQs in their nature reserves - all this weekend alone.

The Trust went on to say it has seen some locals 'create chaos, damage property and pose a risk to not just themselves but other also.

Witnesses have also reportedly seen groups of young people and families canoeing in potentially toxic rivers.

The Trust are calling on people to all play their part in not allowing local reserves becomes hotbeds for anti-social behaviour.

They've said that littering and disturbances could put their wildlife under great strain and potentially affect the livelihoods of some of their species.

Debbie Tann, CEO of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said:

“I’m shocked, upset and angry at what’s been going on in our nature reserves. 

:Of course we want people to be outside and enjoying green spaces and we appreciate that lockdown has taken its toll, but these nature reserves are fragile places, covering just 1% of our overall landscape, and they are vital to protect our most vulnerable wildlife.  

“We shouldn’t have to be worrying about the safety of our staff, volunteers and the public, or clearing up after people who obviously have little thought for anyone or anything. 

"As an organisation we’ve got enough on our plate at the moment trying to look after these precious places and fighting for nature’s recovery.  

"Lockdown has not meant that the emergency facing nature is on hold, wildlife is still in serious decline and it needs our help. 

"I’m asking people to show some respect and stop trashing the nature that we all depend on.” 

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