Instead of reporting the matter to the police, the charity declared a binocular amnesty on Facebook with the intention of appealing to the consciences of three people caught on CCTV removing two pairs of binoculars from the viewing gallery in the Wetland Centre on 29 December.
And on Friday afternoon, after a story appeared in the JEP about the appeal, an Islander walked into the trust’s headquarters at the The Elms in St Mary with the binoculars and a donation for the trouble they had caused. Chief executive Charles Alluto said that having declared an amnesty, the organisation graciously accepted the return of the two pairs of binoculars and considered the matter closed.
‘We were delighted that the person was willing to walk into our office and give them back, and we are grateful to the JEP for the publicity that helped us to recover the binoculars,’ he said. ‘They did not have to return them in person, but they said they regretted their actions when they realised how significant the binoculars were for the enjoyment of the site.’
More than 15,000 people read the post, which has since been deleted. The binoculars have been returned to the Wetlands Centre. They are securely fitted to a wall there where Mr Alluto says he hopes they will remain.