Memorial bird hide removed from Leamington nature reserve because of vandalism

The vandalised bird hide at the Leam Valley Nature Reserve.
The vandalised bird hide at the Leam Valley Nature Reserve.

Vandalism has lead to memorial bird hide in Leamington being removed.

Several attacks have been made on the Jack Watkins memorial bird hide at the Leam Valley Reserve .

Leam Valley Nature Reserve

Leam Valley Nature Reserve

Jack Watkins was the volunteer warden at this popular nature reserve for many years, committed to the site and its wildlife.

The bird hide overlooking the wetland was dedicated to his memory but it has suffered regular damage including graffiti and arson.

Councillor Shilton, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, Warwick District Council said: “With great regret the Leam Valley wetland bird hide is being permanently removed .

“Warwick District Council can no longer fund the continual repair cost, caused by wanton destruction and misuse over a number of years.

“The hide was provided by a grant as part of the wetland creation scheme, and dedicated to the warden who sadly died after many years of volunteering on the reserve.”

To keep the memory of Jack alive, Warwick District Council will erect a new, simpler wildlife watching screen with a plaque dedicated to him.

Annie Talbot, Senior Conservation Specialist for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust said: “Whilst we are saddened at the continued vandalism of the bird hide, we will be replacing it with a screen that will enable the many visitors of this beautiful and popular semi urban nature reserve to continue enjoying the birds and wildlife that thrive here.

“The site remains a lasting testament to the commitment of Jack Watkins and his passion for the natural world.”

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust needs new volunteers to look after this beautiful place. Members of the public are invited to get in touch if they can help.

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