Counting the cost: Thieves break in to EcoPark

Monday 15th September 2014

We are today counting the cost after thieves broke in to our EcoPark environment centre in Small Heath.

Vital equipment, which we use for our work managing nature reserves, improving wildlife habitat, training volunteers and creating natural spaces for children, has been stolen. Initial estimates put the cost of the stolen equipment and damage caused at as much as £15,000.

Staff learnt of the break-in on Monday morning, as People and Wildlife Manager, Craig Wood describes: “We were shocked to arrive at EcoPark and see the amount of damage. Not only had they broken in and taken tools, but they had smashed various other doors, rifled through our staff’s personal belongings and taken a large number of items.

“These people have caused a huge amount of damage and inconvenience. This site is used for educating children about nature and the sessions we run here are hugely popular with local schools. We also have volunteers who come here and learn about conservation and wildlife gardening, so this is a great resource for the community in this area and we’ll have to work hard to ensure there’s not too much disruption to that or other work which will be affected by the loss of tools that are used across all our sites.”

The Trust, which is dependent on donations from the public to carry out our work, have achieved a huge amount through our work on projects like for the Nature Improvement Area where we have created 40 new wildflower meadows on sites across Birmingham and the Black Country as well improving woodlands, making them brighter and safer places for people and wildlife to enjoy. We are still assessing the impact on future projects, which could now be threatened by the loss of so much equipment.

Craig Wood added “We’d much prefer to be spending our time watching the beneficial effects that our work is having on wildlife and educating people about the natural world in urban spaces rather than cleaning up after crime. It’s very sad that anyone could target a charity like this.”