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Arsonists threaten birds at Sankey Valley beauty spot
NESTING birds are being placed under threat by yobs, who are suspected of setting fire to grass and reed beds at a beauty spot.
Concerns were raised by Star reader Joe Killilea, who sent a picture illustrating how arsonists are decimating areas of Sankey Valley, Haydock.
He wrote: “This was burned down last week. It is in Sankey Valley, down Cooper Lane, Haydock.
“All the birds had their nests burned down, including the Canada geese.”
Another reader, who asked not to be named, highlighted another area of the park that is being targeted.
He said: “This area of reed beds, Havannah Flash, is a valuable breeding ground for summer visiting birds and wildlife, but again all is lost for this year, thanks to the vandals who carried out this mindless act.”
Since the start of April, firefighters from St Helens community fire station have attended two fires at Sankey Valley Park.
The first was on Sunday, April 6, when they were called to Blackbrook Road, at around 7.25pm.
Less than a week later on Thursday, April 17, they dealt with a fire off Havannah Lane, just after 1pm.
St Helens fire chief Chris Case said: “We investigate every fire we are called to and work with and pass information to partners, including the police and council, to help find those responsible for starting fires deliberately.
“Fires from anti-social behaviour can have a terrible impact on communities and people’s lives.
“The landscape, including the grass areas and reed beds in the park, are used by a whole range of wildlife.
“Fires not only damage their habitats but could also put people at risk of injury.
“Fires involving grass and reed, as well as other materials, are unpredictable and can spread quickly, which can endanger those who start fires.”
As part of the Spring Watch campaign, the fire service, police and council have joined forces to tackle anti-social fires, which increase as the weather gets warmer.
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