A collection box belonging to a nature reserve was raided by a thief over the weekend.

An honesty box at the Smardale Nature Reserve, near Kirby Stephens, was broken into and the money inside was stolen.

The team who work at the site have been left saddened by the vandalism and theft.

The person responsible also left a bag of dog faeces inside the remains of the box.

In a post on social media, Smardale Nature Reserve said: “We were really saddened to discover the honesty box at Smardale Nature Reserve had been smashed at the weekend.

“The donations had been taken and then someone had left a filled dog poo bag inside the box.

“The amount of money stolen would have been small to the perpetrator, but to us it is incredibly important. Every penny raised by this donation box goes into supporting vital wildlife conservation work on the reserve.”

The team have since thanked the public, adding: “A huge thank you for your messages of support and offers of help. It means a great deal to us and our wonderful team of volunteers who help look after Smardale Nature Reserve"

Cumbria police were contacted but did not have a log about the incident.