Photographs shared with the organisation by Karen Lucioni show a make shift shelter erected in the trees, alongside general littering and earth dug up to form a ‘heart’.
Locals tell Island Echo that the fire service were called out earlier this week when an open fire was spotted in the area, which has been described as an important green space for the town of Ryde. Groups of youths have been heard in the woods over several nights.
Gift to Nature says that acts of vandalism such as this bring into question future plans for green spaces as the organisation can ill afford the resources it takes to deal with such problems when they have 30 sites to manage but just 2 rangers.
Islanders are asked to keep an eye out for anyone creating ‘depressing havoc’ and to call 01983 296244 with any information.
UPDATE – In a statement, Gift to Nature has said:
“Yesterday we were alerted by residents, that the Pig Leg Lane, open green space in Ryde had suffered some unwelcome activity.
“Large areas of turf had been dug up in the attempt to create some kind of den and various household items have been strewn across the site. We are also aware that bonfires have been lit on quite a few occasions and on at least on incident the fire service was called.
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“It is sadly part of the ranger’s weekly life to have to restore areas after anti-social behaviour and it is disappointing as they would much prefer to use their time and energy on more positive management like, clearing scrub, hedge laying , responding to any hazards and cultivating sites for nature.
“There seemed to be an increase in litter across our sites as we emerged from there last lockdown and although we hope users will respect the sites there will always be a few that don’t .
“The area is being assessed and will be cleared shortly.
“We hope that this high-profile incident will encourage local residents to be more engaged with these important sites and continue to alert us if they come across any problems”.