Wildlife Trust saddened after fourth fire at much loved nature reserve

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has recently spoken of its frustration after a fourth major fire at the Skylarks Nature Reserve, off Adbolton Lane at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham over last weekend.

Photographs by Rachel Rutherford

The fire, which reportedly happened on Sunday 19th September, decimated an experimental archeological structure constructed as part of a project with Nottinghamshire County Council archaeological team and volunteers.

The traditionally built structure was just one alongside a number of Anglo-Saxon buildings on the open area of the nature reserve where resident green woodpeckers can be seen regularly and is much loved by many in the local community.

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Previous fires at the reserve in 2016, 2017 and 2019 destroyed a specially constructed accessible pond–dipping platform, a reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon dwelling, known as a Grubenhaus, which had been hand built by volunteers as well as a sensory hide. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is committed to making their nature reserves as welcoming and accessible as possible and at Skylarks there has been investment of a lot of time, energy and funding to create a range of features and facilities to enhance the visitor experience and remove barriers to access but the Trust is determined not to give in to mindless vandals.

Speaking about the most recent fire attended by the Fire Service, which isn’t believed to have been started deliberately and has been reported to the police, Paul Wilkinson, Chief Executive said: “The number of incidents affecting our nature reserves and work is increasing and has a real impact on the morale of staff and volunteers after all their hard work.

“These incidents have a high cost, diverting time and money from our work for nature. However, it will not defeat our charitable aims to make wildlife and nature accessible to enjoy. We ask that visitors are responsible and respectful and to understand the impact any anti-social behaviour has on our wonderful wildlife sites that we kept open for people throughout the pandemic.”

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, a registered charity, is asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Police by calling the non-emergency 101 number and quoting the incident number 182.

Nottingham Local News