AN ACT of vandalism has led to some unlikely new recruits for the Friends of Crompton Moor group.
Three youngsters, who were responsible for damaging support stakes and covers on 50 trees, have turned over a new leaf after being identified as the culprits.
The removed stakes and covers had been planted on Crompton Moor by the charity City of Trees and volunteers. Branches had also been stripped by the trio who were later identified.
When a family member heard what they had done he arranged for them to return to the area and work with FoCM to put the damage right.
The apologetic children, who were also spoken to by an officer from Greater Manchester Police and Oldham Council staff, have now also said they would now be willing to work with FoCM in the future and help look after the moor.
In a separate incident, a dog walker on Crompton Moor came across piles of rubbish dumped by teenagers at Brushes Clough Reservoir.
He told the Correspondent: “This is a known problem for this beauty spot. More needs to be done by the council to stop this happening in future.”
Another walker was disappointed to see litter also left around the reservoir.
She said: “The place was full of bottles and cans. I half expected it as yesterday I saw groups of teenagers walking up the road with carrier bags with bottles in them.
“I spoke to a Council member of staff, who informed me it was the same in every park at the moment.
“I have been told the police do go up at different times, but nothing has happened and a walker predicted it would be the same today and while it is hot.”
During Love Parks Week (July 12 to 21) people are reminded to treat the countryside, green spaces and parks with respect.
Since lockdown there has been a big increase in the number of people visiting parks to get some fresh air and daily exercise.
But numerous incidents as well as those at Crompton Moor have blighted communities and cost a lot of money to put right.
Play equipment in two parks have been torched by vandals and a number of people have been handed fines after they took disposable barbecues to Dovestone Reservoir – despite them being banned.
Scrambler motorbikes have also been used on the moors above the borough.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture, said: “Since the pandemic hit Oldham we have seen some of the very best in people but also some very questionable – and in some cases dangerous – behaviour.
“Services and funds are already stretched due to the Coronavirus and our parks, greenspaces and countryside have never been more important to us as more people are using them to exercise while social distancing.
“Enjoy these areas. But at the same time act responsibly, respect the surroundings and clear up after yourselves and don’t leave litter – take your rubbish home.”