Goslings killed by vandals - arrests made
Good news .....
Just to counter the dreadful news of a couple of weeks ago (below), last week we had three bits of good news -
We have two more goslings! -
Our second female Goose, reported to be sitting on a new nest after abandoning her first, has successfully hatched two more goslings. Each female now has two young, and hopefully redresses the balance a little more after the murder of three goslings nearly a month ago.
One of our members Mavis, spotted a small Deer jumping back into the Chrismas Lodge grounds a few days ago. Since the destruction of Chrismas Lodge by H.C.C the grounds have become a very secluded spot which the deer have obviously found to their liking. The species is not known as it was a very fleeting glimpse, other than to say it was probably not a Muntjac, but possibly a youngster of another species. We will have to keep a look out.
Another member of the group Keith, spotted a snake sunbathing on the path close to our compost heap in the woods, again a very fleeting glimpse as his dog disturbed the snake and the species was not determined. From the description we think it would probably be an adult Grass Snake but it could be an Adder, but from the location and habitat we are tending toward a Grass Snake sighting, perhaps we need to put some "tins" out and see what we find.
Animal cruelty .....
Last night around 8-9pm we had probably the worst case of vandalism and animal cruelty seen in Brickfields Country Park for many a year if ever. A group of four youths decided they would have a little "fun" and kill the recently hatched goslings, uprooting a waste bin scattering bagged dog faeces around, and stripping a specimen tree. Fortunately for us the noise created by the parent Geese alerted a resident and two of the group were arrested and taken to Aldershot Police Station, where they have been bailed to return at a later date. Their parents were also called and hopefully were none to impressed at their offspring's antics.
This is by far the worst case of aggravated vandalism and killing we have had in the park for a long time, if not the worst. Three goslings, little more than three to four days old were killed, we suspect with a catapult or similar weapon, leaving the adult Geese and the remaining two goslings in a very terrified and agitated state. Specifically targeted rather than a general attack, as the Ducks and Moorhens have not suffered, you have to wonder at the mind-set of these youngsters who presumably thought this would be a bit of "fun". Essentially this is murder, and in other circumstances could have been just that, but as it involves Canada Geese it is classed as a minor wildlife crime.
Not the first incident involving the Geese this year, the nest of our one-eyed Goose, herself a victim of a shooting incident a few years ago, was attacked over a month ago resulting in the abandonment of that nest. Fortunately however, she has built a new nest hidden elsewhere in the park and is now sitting on another clutch of eggs. We hope these incidents do not make the Geese that wary of Brickfields Park that they desert us altogether. That family of seven, sadly now four, would have been a nice adjunct to our "Fur and Feathers" Funday on the 5th July, as a result of the actions of these mindless idiots we now have a very different tale to tell our visitors.
Luckily the resident who heard the commotion, quickly involved the local Aldershot Police and two of the four youngsters were captured and arrested, and have been bailed to return to the police at a later date in June. In their haste to escape one of the group left his bicycle behind and had to return to collect it, doh! lets hope he was one of those arrested. A specimen tree planted when the park was opened in 1985 was damaged to such an extent it may have to be felled, and a combined waste and dog refuse bin was ripped from its mountings with the rubbish and faeces scattered, and the bin thrown into the pond.
We at The Friends of Brickfields Country Park work hard to maintain, promote and in some instances defend the park, and in general we have a very good relationship with our neighbours and the public, but the sort of willful destruction seen last night does just make you wonder if its worth it, such mindless vandalism and destruction of life beggars belief. The resident who called the police, himself a member of the public services and relatively used to the more difficult sights in life, was left distraught over the treatment handed out to the goslings who were little more than three days old.
Anybody with information about this attack should contact PC. M. Good (21326) at Aldershot Police Station, Wellington Avenue, Aldershot, Hampshire. GU11 1NZ.
If you see any vandalism, damage or disturbance in the park, please do not get involved, but phone the Police on the usual numbers -
If you have any news for Brickfields Country Park please e-mail at The Friends of Brickfields Country Park.
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