Newark: Balderton lake activity day aims to educate public about wildlife crime
An activity day was held at a lake on Wednesday with the aim of educating the public about wildlife crime.
The event at Balderton Lake was organised by Newark and Sherwood District Council in response to recent incidents of wildlife crime in the area.
Sheridan Stock, assistant public protection manager at the district council said: "It's fantastic to have received so much support from our partners and the community today.
"It's in response to complaints by our local community that our open spaces have suffered from anti social behaviour over the last few months.
"We realise how important it is to engage with young people from an early age to show them how enjoyable it is to experience the wildlife that lives in our lakes and rivers, but also to teach them how to stay safe and respect the wetland environments when visiting them."
The activity day was also attended by Nottinghamshire Police in an effort to make the public aware of the wildlife crime that goes on on a day-to-day basis.
"The focus for a lot of our work this year will be around wildlife crime," said Rob Harrison, neighbourhood police and team sergeant for Nottinghamshire Police.
"These events are very important. Wildlife crime goes on every minute of every day. It has a lasting impact on the environment.
"People have been really really interested. It's a good turnout and it's good for us to spend some time with the Anti-Social Behaviour Team."
Children could take part in a variety of activities, including a nature trail and a water rescue demonstration from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Joyce Bennett, of Heron Way, Balderton, took her great-grand-daughter, Olivia Allen, to try out some of the activities.
Joyce said: "It's brilliant for the little ones.
"We've heard about the wildlife crimes. It's not good."
Another resident, Anthony Nicholson, of Orchard Lane, said that he has noticed a reduction in the number of Mallards seen in the area since the wildlife crimes started taking place.
"It's so sad because they come across to the bungalow every day. Where have they gone? This morning, we had eight and we used to have 20 odd, " Anthony said.
"It's extremely sad and annoying."
Several organisations also attended the activity day to educate the public about the different types of wildlife that can be found at the lake and what does and doesn't count as a wildlife crime.
Ian Callingham, RSPCA inspector, said: "It's nice to see people out. I think we need to protect green spaces and open spaces for wildlife and for people to enjoy.
"The RSPCA was formed in 1820, and wildlife crime has been reported since then.
"I have worked with wildlife all my life. We need to protect it, we need to cherish it."