Police appeal after 'devastating' damage to Countryside Park

Vandals destroyed a bat roosting box at the Combe Valley Country Park
Vandals destroyed a bat roosting box at the Combe Valley Country Park

Police are appealing for information after reports of 'devastating' vandalism at Combe Valley Countryside Park.

Police say the park has been victim to the destruction of two bat boxes and a set of newly installed hand rails as well as graffiti daubed on railway bridges and fly tipping over the last four weeks.

Police say the fencing had only recently been installed.

Police say the fencing had only recently been installed.

PCSO Daryl Holter Wildlife and Heritage Crime Officer said: "The park is a valuable amenity and a place of peace and recreation, part of the attraction is the variety of habitats and wildlife it contains.

"It is incredibly disappointing to see it being destroyed and those responsible should be aware of the devastating effect that is has on the countryside and those who enjoy it. These reports are made even worse by being in springtime, a critical time for wildlife and plants.

"Wildlife is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and in Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected by both domestic and international legislation.

"This means you will be committing a criminal offence if you: Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat; Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats; Damage or destroy a bat roosting place; possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat or any part of a bat; and/or Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost."

Vandalism included graffiti

Vandalism included graffiti

Anyone who saw anything suspicious or may have any information is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, quoting serial 0593 11/03/18.

Alternatively they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org) “.