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19th Oct, 2021

Heartless thieves steal bird boxes made by children for nature reserve

CHILDREN have been left ‘deeply upset’ by the theft and vandalism of 12 bird boxes which they made and decorated.

Earlier this month, 20 bird boxes were installed along the Great Central Walk nature reserve by the Rotary Club of Rugby – but some were stolen or smashed within hours.

They were designed and made by children – including a disabled nine-year-old – as part of a community project run by the club.

Club President Keith Ward said: “The club has spent over 1,250 hours managing the northern section of the Great Central Walk over the last three years, and these thefts have undermined efforts to improve the area.

“It is particularly despicable that one of the boxes taken was made and decorated by a disabled nine-year-old who spent a lot of time and effort which resulted in him winning a club competition for making bird boxes.”

Police are appealing for information about the thefts, which happened between Monday January 11 and Friday January 15.

PC Aaron Sahota from Rugby Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “These bird boxes were designed by children as young as nine-years-old for a community project. They are deeply upset by what has happened.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote crime reference number 23/3036/21.

As part of its centenary celebrations, The Rotary Club of Rugby entered into a partnership with Rugby Borough Council (RBC) and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in 2018 to manage the northern section of the Great Central Walk – the former Great Central Railway line – between Hillmorton Road and Abbey Street.

They have created glades, built dead hedges as ‘bug hotels’, and cut back vegetation – and plan to install new seating and artwork to create an ‘Art Trail’.

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