Call for information on Cow Hill vandalism

One of the damaged trees at Cow Hill.

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Forestry and Land Scotland’s Fort William team is hoping to tap in to local community spirit to deal with anti-social behaviour and vandalism at its Cow Hill Trail.

The agency is asking anyone with information about recent environmental damage at the site to contact Police Scotland on 101.

David John Robertson, FLS Area Visitor Services Manager, said: ‘Cow Hill is an incredibly popular and well-used trail that offers local residents a great opportunity to get out and enjoy Scotland’s forests and land.

‘Lots of local people – and visitors from further afield – have a strong personal attachment to this site and take pride in everything the outdoor capital has to offer.

‘It’s therefore really disheartening to see this kind of damage. Trees were cut down and there was an attempt to start a fire – which in a period of high risk where it could easily have spread, could have had disastrous consequences.

‘It’s irresponsible and potentially dangerous, and creates an eyesore that gives a bad impression to visitors.

‘We’d encourage anyone who knows anything about this to please contact Police Scotland on 101 and help put a stop to this mindless vandalism.

‘As well as dangers posed from flying wood chips, trees of this size could easily cause serious injury if they fell on anyone. The debris also presents trip hazards for other visitors to the site and, had a fire been lit, the dry conditions at the time could have resulted in s serious incident.’

FLS staff have now cleared the debris and will continue to monitor the situation and work with Police Scotland to address anti-social behaviour at the site.

David added: ‘I hope the people who did this are ashamed of their actions and at the very least consider the danger they put themselves and others in when taking down trees of this size.’