Wildlife team 'distraught and angry' after theft of fencing delays construction of beaver enclosure at Idle Valley Nature Reserve

The theft of fencing worth thousands of pounds from a nature reserve near Retford has delayed the construction of a new beaver enclosure.

By Sam Jackson
Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 7:35 pm

Staff and volunteers at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have been left angry and distraught after 17 rolls of the specialist fencing mesh were stolen overnight from Idle Valley Nautre Reserve.

Contractors working on the fencing project discovered the theft this morning, September 1 and reported it to Nottinghamshire Police.

The beavers were due to have been released into the enclosure in late September or early October.

Fencing at Idle Valley Nature Reserve has been stolen.

Head of nature recovery (North) Janice Bradley said: “The fencing materials were hidden well out of sight behind a locked barrier but someone who clearly knew exactly where to find them, has cut the padlock off overnight and stolen them.

"Each roll weighs 200kg, so this is not a quick or easy job, and we assume they were stolen to order.”

“This is a sickening theft of specialist materials vital to our efforts to construct the secure enclosure ahead of the arrival of beavers from Scotland in the next few weeks.

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“The majority of the mesh was specialist ‘otter fencing’, often used by commercial fisheries to protect fish stocks and like most fencing materials, is in short supply across the UK. We’ve been waiting for our delivery for weeks, so it is hugely upsetting and frustrating to have the project delayed due to criminal activity.”

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust plans to reintroduce at least four beavers into a huge enclosure at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve .

Janice added: “The team have been working on this project for well over a year and we’re at a critical stage in preparing the enclosure, which is a huge task as it covers over 50 hectares.

"With the consultants in Scotland actively locating suitable beavers for our site at this very moment we cannot afford any delays.

"We would urge anyone that has any information about the theft or is aware of anyone trying to sell a large quantity of fencing mesh locally, including the special otter fencing and horse mesh, in suspicious circumstances to contact the police by dialling 101.”