Historic beauty spot vandalised

Jackdaw Crag vandalism
Jackdaw Crag vandalism

Mystery surrounds a local beauty spot where figures carved into stone have been vandalised, says a local archaeological group.

Some of the carvings are believed to have been made by World War One soldiers.

Now the site at Jackdaw Crag near the River Wharfe has been severely damaged- with a square rectangle cut out of it by suspected vandals.

The incidents has baffled locals and the parish council alike.

The damage, which has been reported to the police, was discovered around October 20.

Malcolm Baines, of Boston Spa Archaeology and Heritage group, said he regarded the damage done to the site as vandalism and was angry about what had happened.

He told the Wetherby News: “People in the village are very angry and upset about it, and rightly so, this is a local beauty spot and part of our heritage here. The local landmark is an important part of our community. I can’t believe that people could do something like this. There is so much history here and it is very much part of our heritage. I am shocked at what has been done to the site.”

Mr Baines said the area at Jackdaw Crag is believed to include 250 million magnesium limestone formations dating back to the ice age.

He said: “Thoughtless vandals spray painted some of the carvings back in 2009. Fortunately the paint is gradually wearing away without causing serious damage to the underlying rocks. What has happened this week is that a rectangular surface has been set in amongst the carvings creating irreparable damage.”

The carvings, which are on land owned by Boston Spa parish council is designated by West Yorkshire geology trust as a local geological site of interest.

David Thomson, chairman of Boston Spa Parish Council, said the damage had upset the local community. He said: “This is very disappointing and I know a lot of people are very upset about what has happened at Jackdaw Crag. It has definitely not been authorised by us and I am very disappointed that this has happened.”

Jackdaw Crag is also near the site where multi-millionaire entrepreneur Jimi Heselden fell to his death last September. The owner of the Segway company died after falling from cliffs while riding one of his firm’s motorised scooters.