Shropshire Star

'Disrespectful' child vandals trash Ludlow woodland - leaving volunteers 'heartbroken'

"Disrespectful" child vandals have trashed a woodland, leaving hard-working volunteers "heartbroken".

Young vandals have caused damage at Whitcliffe Common

Ludlow's Whitcliffe Common, which volunteers say has had £500,000 spent on it, has been "plagued by a wave of vandalism".

The "antics" of the youths, who are said to attend a local school, have left two areas "destroyed" after they built dens.

Saplings have been hacked down, fire pits dug and soil disturbed.

The vandalism has prompted local charity, Friends of Whitcliffe Common Ludlow, to issues a "please help us" plea.

Young vandals have caused damage at Whitcliffe Common

A spokesperson said: "We spoke to the youngsters and cleared the damaged area as soon as we discovered what they were doing but it seems our appeal fell on deaf ears. They have returned to destroy a second area as the attached pictures show. It is heartbreaking to see the common treated in this way.

“We have informed the school and the police have also been made aware of their activities.

“Common land was granted to the people of Ludlow by Act of Parliament in 1821. It is for the use of people but that has to be with respect for the rules governing Common Land. Simply, it is only for walking and enjoying nature and that is clearly not being shown by these youngsters.

“We know that many local people use the common every day for exercise so we appeal to them to contact us if they see behaviour of this kind going on.

“We do realise that it is only a small group which is acting in this way but as you can see from the photographs it is amazing just what damage they can do.”

Young vandals have caused damage at Whitcliffe Common
Young vandals have caused damage at Whitcliffe Common

Whitcliffe is common land and a Shropshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve which is looked after by the Friends of Whitcliffe Common Ludlow.

Over the past 30 years they have raised and spent money on the site and put in thousands of hours of volunteer work to restore and maintain its 52 acres.

The common boasts stunning views of the town and riverside.

Anyone who sees something unlawful happening is urged to email