GRAFFITI vandals have struck for the third time at a wildlife trust’s city headquarters.
Staff at Northumberland Wildlife Trust arrived for work yesterday to find that their visitor centre and offices in St Nicholas Park in Newcastle had been daubed again.
They are now in a race against time to clean up the mess before a major public event at the Gosforth site on Saturday to mark the centenary of the national wildlife trusts movement.
A graffiti attack on the building last November wasted months of effort by wildlife volunteers.
The volunteers had just finished cleaning off the results of a previous graffiti attack on the visitor centre and repainting the building.
But now the graffiti vandals have struck again and this time the gang signed off with a list of Christian names – male and female – on the building.
“It is sickening, repetitive and mindless vandalism,” said Sheila Sharp, trust head of marketing, who is organising Saturday’s coming wildlife garden festival, which runs from noon-4pm at St Nicholas’ Park Reserve, in the grounds of St Nicholas’ Hospital.
“It is demoralising for everyone and leaving their names on the building falls into the cheek category. We will have to tackle the graffiti because we can’t let the public see this mess on Saturday when we will be staging one of our biggest events of the year.
“All we can do is ask local schools to talk to their pupils about this.”
The gang were captured on CCTV but they ensured they kept their faces covered.
Acting neighbourhood inspector Rob Charlton, of Newcastle North Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We are aware of concerns from Northumberland Wildlife Trust over graffiti and youth disorder at the site. In response to these concerns, police are carrying out additional patrols in the area and working with the trust and the local community to identify those responsible.
“If anyone has any information about we would urge them to contact police on 101 ext 69191.”
Last month The Journal highlighted a series of raids on the trust’s nature reserves including £3,500 worth of damage caused by vandals smashing new information panels at East Cramlington Pond reserve and Close House nature reserve in the Tyne Valley.
Other setbacks have included the burning of wooden viewing hides at reserves at Big Waters in Newcastle and East Chevington on Druridge Bay in Northumberland.
Saturday’s event will include pond dipping, scavenger hunts, crafts, wildlife gardening demonstrations with Dobbies garden centre, bird food making, tai chi, bee keeping, pets corner, flexigraze sheep and sheep dogs, plant sale, live music and BBQ.