Rangers left counting cost of vandalism

MONEY that could be used for conservation work in Orwell Country Park is instead being ploughed into repairs following a spate of vandalism.

MONEY that could be used for conservation work in Orwell Country Park is instead being ploughed into repairs following a spate of vandalism.

The park has been targeted by vandals over the past 18 months yet this latest incident is the final straw for park ranger Richard Sharp.

The metal gates near the Braziers Wood entrance, which allows access for the ranger's vehicle, were literally sawn in half, possibly by a hacksaw. A bollard situated in front of the gate to stop vehicles ramming it, has also been cut in half and the remainder has been stolen.

Mr Sharp said: “It is a real headache because the money in our limited budget is being spent on repairing stuff when it should be going on nature conservation and environment projects for school children.

“I am having to restrain my budget because I keep on having to fork out for things like new gates.

“Before all this, we didn't need bollards in front of the gates or even padlocks on the bollards but now there is always stuff happening here. It is very frustrating.”

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The gates and bollards will cost a few hundred pounds to repair and replace. Other recent acts of vandalism have included padlocks going missing and being glued to prevent keys from working.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “We are sorry that somebody has chosen to do this at the expense of the taxpayer.”

It is thought the gate was damaged some time overnight on Sunday and the bollard was taken on Wednesday night.

Police are investigating the incidents and ask that if anyone has any information, they should call them on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Have you experienced vandalism recently? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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