Young offenders make amends at Mallydams

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YOUNG offenders paid their debt back to the community by lending a hand at a wildlife project in Fairlight.

Their visits to Hastings Wild Things, a Natural England’s Access to Nature project based at Mallydams Wood, culminated in the presentation of dormouse boxes they made.

Over the past few months, youngsters ordered by courts to carry out community work have been developing the woodland, helping to clear some of the rhododendron from the site.

As well as clearing the paths for visitors, their work has created space for flowers to bloom, insects to thrive and the habitat of the nationally rare dormouse, which inhabits Mallydams Wood, to expand.

Anna Herrieven, youth engagement officer for the Hastings Wild Things project, was approached by East Sussex County Council’s Youth Offending Team.

She said: “The most recent work by the Reparation Team has been the building of 20 fantastic dormouse boxes to put into the woodland here. The boxes will be installed by a group of students from a local secondary school and will aid their learning about dormice as an endangered species.

We will number each box and let the Reparation Team know when they become inhabited and how many babies are born.

I have been really pleased with the work that Reparation Team has achieved. It’s a pleasure working with a team that has so many creative and positive ideas.”