An 'unauthorised structure' used as a drinking den has been removed from a Crowthorne nature reserve. 

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust staff removed the structure from Wildmoor Heath nature reserve on Wednesday after deeming it unsafe. 

The structure was built by a local resident last year for children to play on, however in recent times the structure has become a hot-spot for vandalism and anti-social behaviour. 

Alex Cruickshank, senior land manager for the wildlife trust, said: “The whole area was littered with drink’s bottles and used condoms. 

"The Fire Service had been called out to deal with three cases of arson in a week. It’s not something that we want on a nature reserve.

“Signs were smashed, our fences cut and gates damaged. This might have led to serious injury as our cattle could have escaped onto nearby roads, and the loose wire can pose a real hazard.

"Even our staff had been threatened with violence, which meant carrying out routine work had become problematic.

Mr Cruickshank explained the origins of the structure, as well as the decision to remove it. 

He said: "It was a local man, who had retired, he wanted to build it as a playground for the kids to climb on.

"It started off as a den in the woods that kids build, and then he made it more than that. 

"We don't mind kids building dens in the woods, but it was much more than that. 

"He was keen to keep it, he was upset that it had to come down. 

"He wanted us to keep it, so he argued with us quite strongly that we should keep it, but the safety of our visitors and people who use the park are our priority."

Mr Cruickshank was quick to explain that not all visitors to the area wished to cause trouble. 

He said: “People walking their dogs and other legitimate visitors have been giving the area a wide berth, but as the structure came down passing visitors expressed their thanks, as many were aware it had been attracting trouble.

“I am hoping things will settle down because the structure has been removed. But, if anyone sees anti-social or criminal activity, I urge them to phone the police.”