Obseratory hit by burglars three times

BURGLARS have struck at a Felixstowe bird observatory three times in the last eight days, damaging buildings, tampering with equipment and smearing human excrement on the walls.

BURGLARS have struck at a Felixstowe bird observatory three times in the last eight days, damaging buildings, tampering with equipment and smearing human excrement on the walls.

Work is due to begin this week on a £22,000 field studies centre at the site, part of Landguard Fort, and trustees are worried the burglaries will halt the project before it has even got underway.

Steve Piotrowski, chairman of the Landguard conservation trust, said: "We are very concerned that we have raised a lot of money to develop a much-needed learning centre at Landguard and that our chances of completing this may be thwarted before the project gets off the ground.

"It would be such a pity if all this work is ruined by a bunch of mindless idiots."

The first burglary took place last Saturday . Entry was forced into several of the buildings and locks were broken. There were also the remnants of a fire in Darrell's Battery.

The second burglary took place the following night and resulted in only minor damage, but yesterday morning when one of the birdwatchers based at the site turned up for work he discovered a third attack had taken place.

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It is thought that the burglary occurred either late on Sunday afternoon or during the night.

The shutters of the building just north of the main observatory block had been prized open, equipment in the bird observatory had been tampered with and damaged, and there were signs of human excrement on the window ledges and the sides of the buildings.

The Landguard conservation trust have reported all three incidents to the police and want to discuss the possibility of the local officer increasing visits to the fort as part of his beat.

The trust have almost reached their target of raising £22,000 thanks to substantial grants from Suffolk Environmental Trust, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Felixstowe Town Council and the Port of Felixstowe, along with contributions from its own members.

The project will see the commander's watchtower at the fort transformed into a birdwatching centre. Toilets, a kitchen and accommodation will be installed enabling residential courses to take place.

The trust hope to complete the electric wiring this week and aim to have all work on the first stage of the project completed by the end of October.

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