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Community rallies to the rescue after cruel arson attack in Wootton Park




Thanks to community spirit and the power of social media there has been a happy ending following an arson attack which destroyed a favourite wildlife feature in Wootton Park.

Residents were enraged when they heard that a bug hotel, built last year by families and schoolchildren, had been torched overnight leaving a heap of charred timber.

They rallied to the rescue and the park now has not one, but two, new bug havens.

This was what was left of the bug hotel at Wootton Park following an arson attack during the Easter weekend (45880836)
This was what was left of the bug hotel at Wootton Park following an arson attack during the Easter weekend (45880836)

“It was a favourite spot for families to visit with their little ones” said Wootton Park chairman, Will Border.

“It was burnt down on Thursday night and I got to know about it next morning. I can't understand why anyone would want to do this, especially as there was a hiding place for hedgehogs at the bottom of the house.

“Even the children were asking why anyone would do it. It was popular with families using the information board we had put up to teach little ones about the bugs and wildlife.

Children attended the opening of the bug hotel last year (45894581)
Children attended the opening of the bug hotel last year (45894581)

“When word spread on social media, including the Wootton community Facebook page, people were absolutely incensed and that was when the community spirit shone through.

“As soon as they heard we were going to rebuild it there was an amazing response. At least eight children turned up along with parents including two schoolchildren who had helped to build it in the first place. We started work at 11am and had finished by 1pm.”

And there turned out to be double delight for the park users. Mr Border said that he was walking his dog on Monday morning when he heard noises from the area near the new structure.

“When I went over to investigate and catch the culprit I found another resident, Paul Edwards, busy building a second hotel as a surprise.

“Now we have two hotels and a happy ending.” he said. "Wootton Park Committee would just like to thank all in Woottons that came together to make this happen so quickly."

The original bug hotel was built last year in a wooded area of the park. Children from North Wootton Academy had helped out and it was a big event for them at the time.

The arson attack is the subject of an ongoing police investigation.



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