The Bathurst Estate in Cirencester is working with Gloucestershire police this summer to help prevent crime in and around the area.

A statement on the Bathurst Estate Facebook page said:

Throughout the summer The Bathurst Estate will be constructing natural earth barriers, also known as bunds, to help prevent illegal activity such as 4x4 off-roading and poaching in Cirencester Park and the surrounding farm land.

The project is part of a Gloucestershire Constabulary’s initiative introduced by PC Ashley Weller from the Rural Crime Team, in collaboration with the Bathurst Estate.

The Estate will be implementing the earth bunds at a number of strategic sites in an attempt to prevent a recent increase in poaching and other illegal activity on Estate land.

There has been a growing trend for vehicles to make use of vulnerable access points to drive onto environmental field margins and into the woodlands. This has caused significant damage to our wildlife conservation efforts putting a number of habitats and species at severe risk.

The woodlands, flower meadows and parkland are key wildlife sites and home to diverse botanical habitats that help support the conservation of key species, including Pearl Bordered and Marsh Fritillaries, orchids, endangered nesting birds, and rare grasses, all in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As well as providing protection for the wildlife and wildflowers, some of the bunds will be sown with a wildflower seed mix, therefore adding to the diversity of fauna and flora in the area.

To achieve our goal in protecting the wildlife and wildflowers, visitors to the Bathurst land may see some access points, especially to the woodlands, being relocated as part of the larger effort to reduce environmental impacts in these vulnerable areas. The photos attached show the bunds, recently installed and then after being established for 6 months.

It is hoped the earth bunds will reduce the number of these incidents and help protect those vulnerable areas for everyone’s enjoyment for many years to come. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while we conduct these works, especially around the woodland areas.