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Vandals trash Portbury birdwatchers' hides

Damage to benches inside the hide. Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Police have stepped up patrols in Portbury near Bristol after repeated vandalism on bird hides at a nature reserve. The three hides at the reserve in Wharf Lane have seen damage to timber walls and benches, including attempts to set them on fire.

“The hides are a valuable and much-loved resource and we’re actively working with the local community to tackle this issue, including carrying out extra patrols. We’re keen to find the people responsible for causing this damage and would ask people to call in with information.”

– PCSO Gary Lewis, Avon & Somerset Police

Great bustard spotted in Somerset

A rare great bustard has been spotted in Somerset. Credit: Ben Nicholas

If you wanted any proof that the project to reintroduce the Great Bustard to Britain is a success, this could be it. The birds became extinct in the UK due to collectors and changes in agriculture. That was until the Great Bustard Project began in 2004 to release pairs on Salisbury Plain, with the aim of increasing the population.

Ben Nicholas photographed this female great bustard in Chewton Mendip in Somerset on Friday 22 September - quite some distance from Wiltshire - which suggests the bird is making itself at home.

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