Mystery surrounds 'surge of vandalism' and disappearance of ducks in Aldwick

A CCTV camera could soon be put up at Aldwick’s duck pond after a ‘surge of vandalism’.

That is according to Aldwick Preservation Society chairman Paul Bignell, who said residents have been left ‘very distressed’ after a spate of alleged anti-social incidents, compounded by the death and disappearance of some of the ducks.

Aldwick duck pond. Picture by Derek Martin. DM17840884a

Aldwick duck pond. Picture by Derek Martin. DM17840884a

Paul said: “There has been a surge of vandalism. Two seats have been damaged, ripped off and thrown into the pond, whilst two ducks have been killed. We don’t know for sure what has happened but it’s really horrible.

"We have reported it to the police. We are considering raising some funds to put in a CCTV camera to catch the vandals in the act, but that will be really expensive.

"As we are a charity, we have to think very carefully, but it seems to be the only way to go."

Paul said, since April this year, there have been four incidents involving vandalism, which followed two reports last year.

"The first reported incident was in 2018, when a storage container was twice broken into, and petrol and a hedge strimmer stolen," he said.

"Then this year, on April 20, a notice board was pulled down. Two ducks were found dead on the same day.

“On April 26, they smashed up fences. On April 28, they smashed another fence and pulled another board down.

“On May 3, a bench was broken off its stand and thrown into the pond. The fence was broken again and drugs and needles were found all over the place. It occurs over the weekend."

Paul said it is 'particularly concerning' as children regularly use the pond.

He continued: "It’s not fair on us and the people who have to do it up. Someone knows what is happening. It’s a terrible strain on all of us involved here. It’s a nice area that we want people to enjoy.”

Aldwick resident Roz Frampton also spoke about the incidents. She said: “It appears that there are thugs in our midst. The duck pond has suffered mindless vandalism, ducks killed, plus ‘Basil’, the duck with a very special character, has gone missing.

"One seat destroyed was in memory of those who lived at Barnardo’s home for children nearby. It has been so badly damaged, that it has had to be removed.

"The seating benefits many people who visit the pond, much of which is in memory of loved ones."

Roz said there has been huge upset at the disappearance of many of the ducks, as they 'are like extended family members'.

“Basil is a special, big duck and he has gone missing," she said.

“Our pond is normally full of ducks, but several have gone missing, and two have been found dead.”

An Arun District Council spokesman said it is 'awful to think that somebody would purposefully harm wildlife'.

She added: "I hope that Basil turns up, or has relocated somewhere else, even though he’d be missed I’m sure.

“Anti-social behaviour can be reported on asb@arun.gov.uk, or to the 24-hour answerphone service on 0808 141 2800."