ANTI-social behaviour on nature reserves is proving a headache for a wildlife group.
Liz Ballard, leader of the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said that its sites had been the victim of fly-tipping, quad bikers and “sexually offensive” behaviour.
As reported previously, other organisations running nature reserves in the area — the RSPB and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust — have been victims of the same problems.
Ms Ballard, chief executive of the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said that one solution was for more people to visit its reserves, which include the Centenary Riverside in Templeborough and Blackburn Meadows in Masbrough, to make them busier and less attractive to troublemakers.
She said: “There is a bracket of anti-social behaviour that goes on in green spaces so it’s critical people use them or they will leave them for anti-social behaviour.”
Ms Ballard said that there have been a number of cases of fly-tipping at its reserves, as well as issues around drug misuse and “challenging behaviour”.
She said that the trust was “very careful” to act on any complaints and try to develop sites so they could not be used for such behaviour.
Quad bikes and scramblers have become a big issue and Ms Ballard said the trust wanted to work with its partners to help nature lovers reclaim the sites.
The Advertiser has previously reported how nature reserves had been the scene of sexual behaviour.
Ms Ballard said police were informed of cases of anti-social behaviour and urged anyone coming across an incident to call 101, collecting photographic or video evidence if it is safe to do so.
People can also contact the trust directly here over any concerns