Fly-tipping rise 'damaging' ancient Isle of Wight woods

Image source, PTSE
Image caption,
Rubbish has been dumped on the nature reserve near Lynn Common

An ancient woodland on the Isle of Wight is being damaged by a rise in illegal fly-tipping, a wildlife charity has warned.

People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), which owns Briddlesford Woods, said rubbish being dumped near Lynn Common has damaged "precious flora and fauna across the nature reserve".

The site is a conservation area which gives it the highest legal protection.

The charity is calling witnesses to contact the council and police.

Laura Bower, conservation officer at PTES, said the "unique woodland" was "one of the few places in the UK where both hazel dormice and red squirrels can be found".

Image source, Ronnie Stokes
Image caption,
Red squirrels are only found at a few sites across the UK, including Briddlesford Woods

She said the site was also home to two rare species of bat, barbastelles and Bechstein's, which are listed as vulnerable.

"We've been working tirelessly over the last 20 years to maintain this special habitat so that local flora and fauna can flourish," she said.

"Our conservation work will be undone if fly-tipping continues, so we are urging for this to stop, for waste to be disposed of correctly and for any incidents to be reported."

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