When will it end? Hubbards Hills shelter destroyed by ‘mindless idiots’

The remnants of the rain shelter which was burnt down by vandals on Bank Holiday Monday (May 28).
The remnants of the rain shelter which was burnt down by vandals on Bank Holiday Monday (May 28).

The chairman of the Hubbards Hills Trust has slammed the devastating actions of ‘mindless idiots’ after a wooden rain shelter was burnt to the ground over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The shelter was set on fire on Monday evening. A member of the public alerted the fire brigade, but unfortunately the damage was already done.

The burning remains of the rain shelter on Monday evening.

The burning remains of the rain shelter on Monday evening.

The suspected arson is the latest in a string of offences at the Hills in recent months.

Incidents have seen the destruction of a wheelchair ramp and serious damage to the toilet facilities - in addition to excrement being repeatedly smeared over the walls inside the toilet block.

Hubbards Hills Trust chairman, Andrew Leonard, said that it is unlikely that the shelter will be rebuilt as it seems to be a ‘magnet’ for anti-social behaviour.

Mr Leonard said: “Yet again, it is a great shame that so many people will be disadvantaged by the actions of a few mindless idiots.

Yet again, it is a great shame that so many people will be disadvantaged by the actions of a few mindless idiots.

Andrew Leonard

“And, yet again, it will mean more expense for the Hubbards Hills Trust in cleaning up the area and sorting out the long-term damage.

“It’s reaching the point where it’s getting out of our control financially.

“Almost every other week, there’s more vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“The Trust can’t keep asking the rate-payers of Louth to come up with even more money to cover the cost of this vandalism and mistreatment of the Hills.”

The damage caused to the wheelchair ramp back in December 2017.

The damage caused to the wheelchair ramp back in December 2017.

Mr Leonard explained it was impossible to take preventative measures against much of the vandalism, such as individuals who choose to smear excrement on the toilet walls.

He added the installation CCTV cameras near the toilet facilities had been considered, but dismissed, due to the various difficulties associated with this including the sensitivity of the area, data storage regulations, and a limited feed of electricity.

Mr Leonard said: “Sadly, it’s not as simple as ‘put cameras up’. And, it’s an area where we ideally wouldn’t want to have CCTV anyway.

“At this rate, people will run out of things to burn or vandalise at the Hills, and it’ll finish up just being 35 acres of woodland with little or no amenities.

“This is just another sad day for Louth, in our ongoing battle with anti-social behaviour.”

•Members of the public are asked to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or vandalism by calling Lincolnshire Police on 101.