Vandals trash nature reserve

Destroyed: Damage at Grange Park, Ribbleton, which has been caused by vandals
Destroyed: Damage at Grange Park, Ribbleton, which has been caused by vandals
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Vandals have caused hundreds of pounds of damage at a park and nature reserve on an important historical site.

The yobs struck in two areas at Grange Park, off Glenview Drive, Preston and in Grange Valley, a nature reserve next to the park.

In the first incident between February 17 and 20, they pulled up bricks from the ruins of the old Ribbleton Hall which are in the park, then used them to smash ornamental tiling in what would have been the former conservatory of the hall.

Then on Tuesday night, several small fires were set nearby off a footpath leading to the Grange Valley nature reserve.

Park rangers said the arsonists struck again over night on Wednesday, leaving a larger area scorched.

Today PCSO Iain Martin, of Fulwood Police, said: “This is the first incident of vandalism we have had in a while at the park. There is a lot of work going on to tackle anti social behaviour in Moor Nook and Grange.

“Vandalism in our parks will not be tolerated and we would urge anyone with information about who is responsible to come forward. We know someone will have an idea who is behind this.”

The valley was the scene of a decisive battle of the English Civil War on August 17,1648, when Preston was a Royalist stronghold.

A force loyal to the imprisoned Charles I, and led by Sir Marmaduke Langdale, met with Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army on what is now Ribbleton Avenue.

After a long and muddy skirmish the Parliamentarians won the day. The defeat of the Royalists eventually led to the execution of the King.

The nature reserve is home to a variety of wildlife including chaffinches, dunnocks, wrens, whitethroats, sparrowhawks and kestrels, and small mammals such as field mice, bank voles, hedgehogs and shrews.

The meadow flowers also attract many varieties of butterfly.

Anyone with information can call 01772 203203 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.