Sadly there has been more vandalism to the hide on Otmoor. Over the last few weeks there have been several signs of minor damage and misuse in the hide. On Wednesday evening further, more serious damage was done. It is clear that a small group of people have taken to using the hide as a place to sit and smoke dope and at the same time entertain themselves by damaging the place. The gradual escalation in their antisocial behaviour is particularly disturbing and unpleasant. It would be a real disappointment for those people using the hide and the reserve properly, if the hide had to be locked and unlocked daily. This is especially true for those of us who often go down early in the morning or late in the evening. In addition it would be a very onerous duty for RSPB staff and for Volunteer wardens.
We are all in a good position to help to monitor and improve the situation. By keeping our eyes and ears open and maybe making a note of suspicious behaviour and cars arriving at unusual times, we may well be able to identify and deter this tiny number of selfish, small minded and ignorant individuals. They are are damaging and despoiling a precious asset that at present is open and free for everyone.
Please report any odd, suspicious or antisocial behaviour that you see to the RSPB staff on 01865 352033 or to any Volunteer wardens who may be on site. Police are taking an active interest in this case and would be updated by the staff in the office. By acting together we can influence this situation for the better, if we do nothing it may sadly get worse.