Lancashire Wildlife Trust has described the act of vandalism at Little Woolden Nature Reserve as “heartbreaking” after a polytunnel was destroyed.
Campaigns Manager for the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, Alan Wright said: “The polytunnel has been a feature of the reserve since we bought it more than five years ago. It is, obviously, vital for growing the plants necessary to make the moss into a perfect habitat for lots of wildlife but it is also a great shelter for humans and creatures.
Staff and volunteers have met a number of frogs, toads and lizards who have used the polytunnel to hibernate in colder months, while they have been having tea and cakes.
Mr Wright continued: ”Obviously, the cost and trouble of replacing something like this add to our difficulties as a conservation charity.
”We need a polytunnel as a base for our growing schemes and our work parties.
The fact that the thieves probably made a couple of pounds for scrap metal makes this a little annoying.”
Little Woolden Moss is isolated, a real wilderness reserve just half a mile from Cadishead, so it is difficult for the Wildlife Trust or the police to keep an eye on it.
On a number of occasions, they have been subject to thefts of sculptures and an arson attack on a bird hide.