Anger over river bank vandalism

John Belshaw at the River Douglas near Tesco where vandals have ripped up a bird table and thrown it into the river
John Belshaw at the River Douglas near Tesco where vandals have ripped up a bird table and thrown it into the river
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VANDALS have struck again at a popular Wigan beauty spot.

A walkway along the River Douglas from Swinley, Bottling Wood and Whelley to the town centre has regularly been attacked by yobs.

In recent weeks, they have set fire to wheelie bins under the bridge and ripped a dog fouling bag dispenser from its pole in Central Park Way.

Now they have torn down a bird table and thrown it into the River Douglas as well as painting graffiti along the bridge.

The vandalism has angered members of the Friends of Douglas Valley who are calling for CCTV cameras to be installed in a bid to stop the vandalism.

Group member John Belshaw, 60, said: “A couple of weeks ago the group put a bird table near the lift area of Tesco, next to the owl sculpture. But someone has broken it off and thrown it into the river. It now needs to be fished out of the water.

“We need to highlight the problem and get local PCSOs involved.

“We need to put CCTV cameras up and are hoping that bosses at Tesco can help us in the future.

“This is pointless vandalism and really annoys me. It is costing us money and is really aggravating.

“We put dozens of bird boxes in trees and I would say around 70 per cent of them have been taken.

“We have had problems with vandalism for years. Recently we have had people drag handfuls of bags from the dog fouling bag dispenser and throwing them on the floor, which is a waste of our money.

“We have worked really hard to improve the area, but these mindless idiots want to spoil it.”

Over the last few months, yobs have also sprayed graffiti and carved into the railings along the river.

Ward councillors George Davies and Jean Peet have been working with the group to improve the surroundings and want Tesco to help install lighting columns under the bridge.

Coun Peet said: “This is an ongoing issue. We have brought it to the attention of Northern Forum and the police, who said they would investigate.

“We want Tesco, which is next to the river, to help put lighting under the bridge.”

A spokesman for Tesco said they were looking into the request.