Country Parks targeted by vandals
Country parks at
Anglers and Newmillerdam have both recently suffered from acts of vandalism and
the Council is calling on the public for any information.
One of the bird hides at Anglers was burnt down last week, leaving only the
stone block footings of the structure.
Fire damaged bird hide at Anglers Country Park
Last month, a picnic
bench at Newmillerdam was completely destroyed in a deliberate fire and part of
the Lawns Park boardwalk was also damaged. The Friends of Newmillerdam Country
Park repaired the boardwalk and a new picnic bench is being ordered, but the
cost of the materials is over £1,000.
The incidents have been reported to the Police and the Council is urging anyone
with any information to come forward.
Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities,
said: “We are absolutely disgusted by the anti-social behaviour that has been
taking place in our parks. These deliberate and deplorable acts of vandalism
have caused lasting damage to our fabulous open spaces, destroying local
wildlife and spoiling the parks for visitors.
“Our parks are fantastic places to visit and it is shocking that anyone would
cause such damage. I urge anyone with any information to contact to Police by
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have been called out to three fires at
Newmillerdam Country Park already this year.
Mussarat Suleman, Wakefield District Prevention Manager at West Yorkshire Fire
and Rescue Service, said: “This year alone we have attended numerous incidents
at the park as a result of anti-social behaviour. We have seen damage caused to
decking, trees and woodland and a fishing platform. It is concerning to see the
damage that is being caused to both nature and the wildlife in the area.
“Parks should be safe and pleasant places for visitors to use. I would urge all
visitors to remain vigilant at all times, adhere to the instructions provided
and report any suspicious activity to the Police immediately.”
A much larger fire was deliberately started at Newmillerdam last year,
completely destroying the boardwalk and viewing platform. The ferocity of the
fire meant that nine trees had to be cut down due to them being damaged. The
Friends of Newmillerdam rebuilt the boardwalk and viewing platform at a cost of
Earlier this year, a fishing platform funded and installed by Wakefield Angling
Club was also destroyed by fire.
If residents witness the signs of a fire in any of the Council’s country parks
please report this by calling 0345 8 506 506.