Detectives follow tracks to return wildlife trailer
CONSERVATIONISTS are celebrating the return of their educational trailer more than a year after it was stolen.
As reported in May last year, the South Gloucestershire group of the Hawk and Owl Trust lost all its display boards, show equipment and thousands of leaflets when thieves towed away the trailer from a driveway in Stapleton. But this summer eagle-eyed chairman Paul Golledge spotted the mobile education unit, pictured, for sale on an internet auction site, stripped of its branding.
Avon and Somerset police investigated and tracked it to Maidenhead, Berkshire, in June. The trailer is now back where it belongs, refurbished, and will play a vital role in transporting the group's promotional material to shows across the region.
Mr Golledge, 49, of Stapleton, said: "We were absolutely devastated when the trailer went missing. More frustrating than the loss of the trailer was the huge amount of educational resources that we lost.
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"These were of no value or purpose to anyone else, but play a key role in educating the public about our conservation work.
"We couldn't believe it when we had the phone call from the police to say they had recovered it. We are incredibly grateful to the police for their dogged detection work."
The group received a £2,000 environment grant from South Gloucestershire Council to replace its stolen display boards and £300 from Wessex Water's Watermark award scheme in association with the Conservation Foundation.