'The show must go on', say staff at Batford Springs Volunteer nature reserve hit by winter storms

St Albans & Harpenden Review: 'The show must go on', say staff at nature reserve hit by winter storms 'The show must go on', say staff at nature reserve hit by winter storms

Volunteers from a Batford based nature reserve are vowing "the show must go on" after a series of misfortunate events have welcomed them in to the New Year.

Blustery winds caused a large willow tree to fall on the Batford Springs Volunteer (BSV) headquarters in Lower Luton Road on December 23 and since being closed because of the damage caused, thieves have targeted the building and stolen equipment.

Sometime between 3pm on December 27 and 7pm on Tuesday, January 14 criminals entered via the rear yard of the premises and stole two new industrial strimmers, thought to be approximately £400 each.

Three pairs of waders and two cans of petrol were also stolen. The kitchen window was also smashed and the fence around the building was damaged.

The tree was removed on Tuesday, January 14 and St Albans District Council is currently assessing the building to make sure it is safe for members to return.

The BSV (formerly Upper Lea Valley Group) is a charity, along with Harpenden Town Council, which aims to looks after the Batford Springs Nature Reserve - St Albans district's largest wildlife reserve.

Oliver Randall, volunteer and committee member at the charity for 15 years said: "It is not a good feeling when something like this happens.

"But we are a vibrant band, so the show must go on. At the beginning of January we had a work party scheduled, where we would have used the strimmers.

"However members brought their own tools from the garden shed and we will just have to keep going.

"It is a great shame because our equipment is very good. It is specialist equipment and obviously acquired - they are the tools we need."

Anyone with information should contact Herts police non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference number F2/14/60.

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