Staff at Brierley Forest Park Visitor Centre consider future afer thieves strike again

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DISAPPOINTED volunteers at Brierley Forest Park Visitor Centre say they are not sure they can continue their work after thieves targeted the community facility yet again.

Thieves targeted the visitor centre in Huthwaite on 14th September when they disabled the alarm system and took cash, food, chocolate and raffle prizes.

They also took money raised for Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, leaving the morale of volunteers at an all-time low.

There have been at least four break-ins at the centre this year, along with attempted break-ins.

The centre is also struggling because of a lack of volunteers to work in the cafe.

Michael Straw, who is one of the directors of the Brierley Forest Park Trust as well as a volunteer, said: “We are closing a bit early at the moment because of a lack of volunteers.”

The volunteers are due to take over the running of the visitors’ centre from Ashfield District Council under an asset transfer scheme which gives community groups the chance to run their own facilities.

But because of the long string of break-ins, volunteers are unsure about whether they can undertake this and are calling for security to be stepped up.

“We wouldn’t have enough money to cover the cost of break-ins. It’s an unfair pressure really,” said Michael.

Roger Morton, who is also a director and volunteer, says: “We can’t run this place without a large number of volunteers.”

To volunteer visit www.brierleyforest.com or call Mansfield 550172. Anyone with information about the break-in should call the police on 101.