Public asked to help protect Bradlaugh Fields

 

The Friends of Bradlaugh Fields and Barn are appealing to anyone who witnesses vandalism taking place in the park to contact the Police or Northampton Borough Council’s Park Rangers.

Several incidents have occurred at the nature reserve over the past few months, including the theft and breakage of mature and newly planted trees and deliberate damage to signposts.

The popular 60-acre site, owned by the Borough Council and maintained by ideverde, was designed by the local community and opened in 1998. It hosts a range of flora and fauna uncommon in Europe and is home to many British butterfly species, along with a protected area for badgers and a community cafe.

Councillor Mike Hallam, Cabinet member for environment said: “The Friends of Bradlaugh Fields and our Park Rangers, along with many partners and volunteers work, extremely hard to maintain and improve the park so it’s a real shame that a small minority are acting in such a mindless way.

“There is no excuse for criminal damage, so I would urge anyone who sees or hears about any vandalism to report it and help us to protect this wonderful community asset.”

In the past 12 months, the friends have worked alongside the park rangers, idverde, the Wildlife Trust and the local Neighbourhood Watch group to introduce conservation practices and measures to improve biodiversity, including sowing wildflower seeds to attract pollinating insects and leaving grass to grow longer in areas of the park, so wildlife is undisturbed.

Other projects have included creating an outdoor classroom, building a board walk for the pond, adding signage at all park entrances and installing new seating in the main field.

The Community Payback Scheme has made a huge impact by undertaking tasks such as repairing fences, creating leaf composting bays, edging paths and spreading woodchip. While local businesses have also volunteered to litter pick and care for the community garden at the centre of the park.

These initiatives resulted in the awarding of a Green Flag in October 2020, which is the national benchmark of well-managed parks and green spaces.

The Park Rangers can be contacted by emailing Parkrangerteam@northampton.gov.uk or calling 0300 330 7000. Alternatively, incidents can be reported to Northamptonshire Police on their website www.northants.police.uk/ro/report or by calling 101.