Anger as beauty spot is trashed by teenage yobs

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

YOBS have gone on the rampage in a Flintshire beauty spot – just months after it opened.

Vandals have trashed the Connah’s Quay Wetlands Nature Reserve in Ffordd Llanarth.

The willow tunnel, built by pupils at Connah’s Quay High School, has been smashed up, parts of the bird hide have been kicked in and the area is strewn with empty beer bottles and cans.

The reserve was officially opened by Deputy First Minister Carwyn Jones in January.

The 4.2 acre reserve, funded by a Welsh Assembly Grant of £50,000, is the culmination of months of hardwork by Groundwork, QuayCat and community volunteers.

QuayCat chairman Ian Dunbar said: “We have spent thousands on this. We put in kissing gates, bridges, walkways, the bird hide and benches and to see the damage that has been caused by a few mindless people destroys all your confidence in what you think people should represent. To say I’m disappointed is putting it mildly.”

Flintshire Council also ploughed an additional £4,000 into the project.

Connah’s Quay Central Councillor Aaron Shotton has branded the culprits “irresponsible”.

He said: “There was a lot of work undertaken by Groundwork and members of the community to create this fantastic natural habitat.

“I was there at the opening with the First Minister and I witnessed the willow tunnel being built by youngsters in the community so it’s very, very sad to hear it’s been damaged.”

Cllr Bernie Attridge added: “We had all these children working hard at the wetlands and then to have it wrecked like that is disgraceful - they are the lowest of the low.

“I call on anyone who knows anything to report it to the police.”

Welsh Assembly candidate for Alyn and Deeside Carl Sargeant is also shocked at the news.

He said: “I have been there lots of times to see the work that’s gone on and it’s very sad to see this vandalism taking place when we are trying to engage young people in activities.”

Connah’s Quay Golftyn Cllr Peter Macfarlane said he would be raising the concerns with police at the town council meeting tonight.

The once disused and overgrown wetland site has been used for environmental fun days, willow weaving and tree planting sessions.

Anyone with information should call North Wales Police on 101.

See full story in the Leader

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