RESIDENTS have described the daubing of crude graffiti on ancient bridges at a beauty spot near Chester as “disgraceful”.
The word ‘weed’ with a poor drawing of a bong underneath in blue has been sprayed on three Grade-II listed medieval packhorse bridges, also known as the Roman Bridges, at the Hockenhull Platts Nature Reserve between Waverton and Tarvin.
The bridges initially along a Roman road were repaired in the 14th century by Richard, the Black Prince, and are a popular attraction for local walkers and tourists.
The vandals also targeted the local scout hut which only reopened last year after more than a decade out of action.
Information boards and a tree at Hockenhull Platts were also sprayed with graffiti.
Ted Lush, chairman of the Tarvin Parish Council, said the people responisble should face a strong punishment.
He said: “People love the area. It’s a really tranquil place and we’re hugely disappointed that this has been done. It is absolutely disgraceful.
“It’s going to cost a lot of money to clean up, cash which could be better spent somewhere else.
“It is a real mess down there and it is just so pointless.”
PC Dave Walton of the Cheshire west and rural policing team, said the crime has been recorded as a heritage crime and he revealed they were due to interview two suspects today.
He said: “We have two local youths being dealt with at present for the graffiti in Tarvin on the bridges and scout hut.
“They are due to be spoken to by police about it on Monday.”
A spokesman for Cheshire West and Chester Council, Laura Johnson, said the clean up will take time and be more costly than normal.
She said: “We are aware of the graffiti. When we normally tackle graffiti, we just water blast it with a specific mix of chemicals.
“However these bridges are heritage sites so the work has to be done very sensitively and very carefully which means the usual way we remove graffiti won’t work.
“What we are doing is consulting with a conservation approved stonemason on the best way to remove the graffiti without causing damage to the structures.
“We do not have a date set yet for when it will be removed but it will be at the earliest opportunity.”