Racist graffiti left at Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre
Part of a children's play area has been closed off at Thatcham's Nature Discovery Centre following it being covered in "thoughtless and offensive" racist graffiti.
The hateful messages were found inside a wooden hut at the centre in Lower Way this morning (Wednesday).
One image shows a stick figure hanging next to three others wearing pointed hats with KKK, denoting the Ku Klux Klan, written underneath.
The KKK is a white-supremacist terror hate group formed after the American Civil War in 1865 targetting African-Americans and other minority groups.
Another message says: "Do you support BLM [Black Lives Matter]? Cus 65% of violent crime in America in 2020 was committed by N******!"
One person told NewburyToday: "It's a community resource and some far right people have chosen to graffiti the hut at the children's play centre.
"I think it's just disgraceful. The team down there are providing a community resource that has got children at the heart of it and we have got, I don't know what to call them, animals clearly not realising we're living in 2021.
"I just don't think it should be let go. I think people need to know it's not acceptable."
The Nature Discovery Centre is managed by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) on behalf of West Berkshire Council.
The graffiti was left in The Hutch, which was dedicated in memory to Ann and Elizabeth Hutchings and funded by the family of BBOWT supporters.
Nature Discovery Centre Manager Jo Thrussell said: “This kind of thoughtless and offensive vandalism is deeply upsetting and shocking for us all. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly to make the Nature Discovery Centre a welcoming and fun place for families to come and enjoy the outdoors.
“We must now divert our precious charity resources to repair this damage, which takes away from our work inspiring people about wildlife.
“The police are looking into this criminal damage and are considering extra security patrols on site to help stop this happening again.”