The Noddle Hill Nature Reserve on the edge of Bransholme, North Hull has long been a magnet for locals wanting to enjoy nature and to walk in countryside.
Sadly it has also attracted anti-social behaviour. There have been frequent calls about fires being set on the reserve and worrying trend of wildlife being targeted by people causing injury and sadly death to animals.
Over the past few years there has been a noticeable decrease in the number of deer in the nature reserve at Noddle Hill. There may be a number of reasons for this decline. The deer seen at Noddle Hill are not farmed or managed and can move freely in and out of the nature reserve. Seeing wild deer so close to the city of Hull is a thing of pleasure, however this close proximity to people comes with inherent dangers.
Over recent months local residents have seen and reported to the police and Hull City Council that they have seen people looking like they were hunting and have found evidence of traps and snares.
There has been a meeting of local residents brought together with Humberside Police, Humber Fire and Rescue and Hull City Council to see what can be done to raise awareness of the problems and see how we can all work together to protect the remaining deer, improve the nature reserve and support our wonderful local wildlife.
Councillor Mike Thompson, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, communities and environment, said: “I’m appalled at the behaviour of a small minority who think it is acceptable to target wildlife on the reserve.
“We want to thank our residents who have raised these issues with the council and police so that together we can do everything in our power to prevent the terrible actions of these individuals and protect the wonderful wildlife.”
Local Community Police Sergeant Steve Hepworth said, “The reserve was established as a refuge on the urban fringe so that people could enjoy the wildlife and it is very sad that this sort of activity is happening.”
“Following recent local concerns we wanted to look at bringing the community and local services together to improve the reserve and to make is a safer place for both the community and the wildlife.
“Following a meeting last week we have plans in place to increase night-time police patrols in the park with volunteer Special Constables dedicating their time at weekends to keep a watchful eye on the area. By having a visible presence in area will hopefully prevent further incidents, gather information about those committing crime in the locality and make the area safer for everyone.
“I would say to anyone who has been setting traps or trying to kill the wildlife in the reserve that we will do everything we can to stop you, killing deer is illegal and we will do what we can to bring you to justice.
“Following last week’s meeting residents have pledged to have a big community clean-up and regular litter picks in the reserve and proposals have been put forward for new signage and more frequent bin collections.
“I really hope that by bringing everyone together like this we can make a real improvement to this lovely area.
“The local community are our eyes and ears and they are making sure they report anything suspicious they see in the reserve to us on 101. By calling us each time an incident occurs not only helps us to build a full picture of the problems but it means that, if we are able to, we can deploy officers to the area straight away to be able to catch people in the act.
“Anyone that see anything suspicious should try and gather as much information as possible – try to write down the following:
A description of what you can see happening or have found.
- The location.
- Descriptions of people, vehicles registration numbers, while remaining out of sight of any possible offenders to ensure your safety.
- Any equipment they have with them.
- Details of dogs or firearms present.
- Only if safe to do so - take pictures.
“Hopefully together we can all help to improve the reserve, protect its wildlife and give continued pleasure to the local residents that surround Noddle Hill Nature Reserve.”
There is a lot of information on our website about how as a Force we deal with Wildlife and Rural Crime, following this link will lead you to lots more information: https://www.humberside.police.uk/wildlife-and-rural-crime
Anyone with information about the hunting or killing of wildlife should report it to us on our non-emergency number 101.