Vandalism at Derbyshire heritage site Creswell Crags 'painful' to witness

Bosses at Creswell Crags say it was ‘painful’ to discover vandals had targeted the world famous Derbyshire heritage site during lockdown.

Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 2:00 pm

Police officers released pictures of the damage caused by people starting fires at the Crags this weekend as they launched an investigation.

Creswell Heritage Trust said it was ‘especially difficult’ to see the vandalism during the national coronavirus lockdown when staff are only visiting the site for essential safety and maintenance reasons.

Damage caused by fires at Creswell Crags. Image: Derbyshire Police Rural Crime Team

A spokesperson for the trust said: “We are very grateful to Derbyshire Constabulary for their support, both investigating this incident and helping protect our important heritage site from any further vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

"Creswell Crags is of international importance as an archaeological site, but it is also loved by the local community and it is painful to see any damage done, however small.

"It is especially difficult to discover such vandalism at a time when staff are working from home due to the national lockdown and are only visiting to check site security and maintenance.

"Creswell Heritage Trust is a charity, currently relying on emergency funding to survive lockdown, and this highlights how important our work is in safeguarding the site.”

The trust said it wanted to remind potential visitors that all facilities at Creswell Crags are closed during the lockdown.

"Visitors can still walk around the gorge via the public footpaths, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, but people should not be driving to the site,” the spokesperson said.

"If you notice anything suspicious when you visit, please contact the local police. Help us keep our site safe for everyone.”

Derbyshire police’s rural crime team confirmed an investigation had been launched into the damage.

The site has recently launched a series of online talks, and the trust spokesperson said plans are being made for reopening ‘as soon as it is safe and allowed’.

For updates, see social media or the website.

If you are able to donate to help Creswell Crags through this second lockdown, you can do so via the JustGiving Page.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.