On 17 October 2020 we found that someone had created a new fireplace close to one of the restored areas. Trees had been damaged to provide the firewood (a criminal offence in a SSSI) and the grass destroyed. Rubbish was left among the ash.
What sort of person thinks they have any right to do this? Who is so arrogant that they think they are entitled to damage an area of national conservation importance and leave it for others to clear up? What sort of sick society do we live in when people with so little understanding of personal responsibility have a right of access on to this land? And why do we (a) have to clean this up and (b) have to face the consequences of Natural England telling us that we are not upholding our legal responsibility to protect a SSSI on our land?
After all the work through this year, this is nothing short of sickening. We are angry and demoralised. Anyone found doing this sort of thing will be met with a hostile reaction.
But why did no one else report it? Lots of responsible people visit Piles every day. Did no one see this happening? Could no one have told either us or the National Park rangers? Piles does not stay nice by magic; it needs you to stand up for its protection. If you are worried about accosting people, let us know what is happening as soon as possible. We can go there with back-up and authority.