Cornard residents concerned over the growing damage to Shawland Woods
- Credit: Rayner Byam
Residents of Great Cornard are becoming increasingly concerned about the damage being done to the Shawlands Woods.
Since the start of the first lockdown there has been an increase in anti-social behaviour.
Local resident Rayner Byam said she has seen a significant rise in damage over recent weeks.
She added: “Since Lockdown started last March there has been issues with young people gathering in big groups.
“Over the past year, smashed glass, litter, the odd dirt bike and motorbike have been driven around it.
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“But over the past two months, some young people have decided they want to turn the woods into a bike track for BMXs.
“They go into woods every day armed with saws and shovels and they have dug up countless number of plants, created themselves extra pathways by destroying wild flowers.
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“They have cut down small trees, branches off trees, anything that is in the way of what they want to do they have down.
“They have dug random holes all around the woods for people to fall into.”
Mrs Byham also believes that due to the rise in gatherings in the woods it has put people off walking through the woods.
She said: “There are several elderly couples who walk their dogs quite early in the morning. This is because they are actually too scared to go in there during the day because of the abuse they get.
“If they see people biking around especially with saws and shovels in their hands. They are quite intimidated.
“The young people are so rude and abusive.”
Mrs Byam said she regularly contacts both the council and the police.
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Police are aware of anti-social noise activity and behaviour in the area of Shawlands Woods such as the use of unlicensed motorcycles.
“Some signs were recently erected to discourage such behaviour and we are aware that criminal damage to the signs has taken place.
“We acknowledge that such noise based Anti-Social Behaviour can cause distress and worry for local residents and affect people's quality of life. We will monitor the situation closely and look to continue patrols in the area.”
Great Cornard Parish Council chairman Stewart Sheridan said the council is doing everything it can to prevent any further damage being done.