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Canvey Wick vandals prompt security calls
CALLS have been made for security to be increased at a Canvey nature reserve, after a spate of vandalism.
Councillors want measures put in place at Canvey Wick, off Northwick Road, following a string of incidents.
In recent weeks the reserve has been plagued by fires being started deliberately, vandalism and antisocial behaviour, with concerns youngsters are also setting off home-made rockets at the site by throwing cans of aerosol into fires.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which took over management of the site earlier this year, said it was considering replacing fencing and increasing visits by staff, as part of its investment in the reserve.
But Canvey councillor Dave Blackwell said something needed to be done urgently to protect the home of the rare shrill carder bee for future generations.
He said: “We think it is being used by young people to congregate over the summer months.
“The recent dry spell has meant the dyke has dried up, so people are finding it easier to get on to the Wick.
“They have caused a lot of damage by starting fires and cutting down trees.
“There are lots of empty beer cans and bottles and we are worried there may be drug use there too.
“It is worrying that these young people seem to be throwing cans of aerosol in to the fire – there is a serious risk someone will be seriously hurt.
“I really hope the RSPB can do something to reinforce the fencing and improve security.”
Essex Fire and Rescue confirmed they have been called to eight fires at the site since March.
Of the incidents recorded, two were classed as deliberate and two as accidental. The causes of the other four are unknown.
Last month, police were called to the reserve after an illegal rave was advertised there on Facebook.
A spokesman for the RSPB, said: “We are about to begin a programme of work at the site and will be looking at making improvements to the perimeter fencing.
“We will also be increasing visits by our officers, which we hope will discourage antisocial behaviour.
“We need to be careful that in making the site secure we do not stop people visiting.
“We would ask anyone who witnesses antisocial behaviour at the reserve to contact the police immediately.”
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