Vandals damage 3km of fencing

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Vandals who repeatedly damaged a recently replaced fence in the Forest of Bowland are being sought by police.

Rangers from United Utilities reported up to three kilometres of damage, believed to have taken place sometime around February 8, said the water firm.

The fence, between Parlick Fell and Fiensdale Head, which marks a boundary between United Utilities land and Bleasdale Estate, has had more than 60 holes cut in large 20-foot sections costing thousands of pounds to repair.

United Utilities and Lancashire Police are appealing for witnesses.

Land Agent Caroline Holden said: “The fencing had been erected to act as a management tool, by enabling sheep to be shepherded onto areas of fell where vegetation needs to be controlled, and to help local tenant farmers gather their flocks at certain times of the year. This act of vandalism makes the work of the tenant farmer so much more difficult.’’

The water company is warning anyone who is caught will be prosecuted.

Mrs Holden added: “The damage to the fence is and will cost substantial amount of money - these costs are ultimately met by water bill payers.

“This means money that could be allocated to improving water supplies in the region, is now being spent on making safe the senseless and mindless damage.”

The damaged fence had just recently replaced an older one. It was not obstructing walking on the fells, as the area has been open access to the public for over 35-years and there are stiles and kissing gates along the fenceline at regular intervals.

Anyone with information is asked to report it to the police in Longridge or United Utilities’ Estate team on 01200 454400.