Police are investigating a spate of vandalism at the Combe Valley Countryside Park, which officers have described as ‘devastating’.
The park has been victim to the destruction of two bat boxes, newly installed hand rails and signs being damaged, graffiti daubed on railway bridges, and fly tipping.
The incidents have taken place over the past four weeks.
Bat box destruction #Criminaldamage #graffiti at Combe Valley #Hastings #Rother #Sussex any info please call 101 ref 0593 11/03/18 @Hastings_police @Rother_Police @RotherNHW pic.twitter.com/DP3K6xHWt4
— SussexPoliceHeritage (@SusPol_Heritage) March 12, 2018
PCSO Daryl Holter, wildlife and heritage crime officer, said:
“The park is a valuable amenity and a place of peace and recreation, and 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 it 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.”
In Britain, all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.
Police said this means someone could commit a criminal offence by damaging or destroying a bat roosting place, even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time.
Anyone with information is asked to email [email protected] or phone 101, quoting reference number 0593 of 11/03/18.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.