Habitats damaged at Hemlington Lake in suspected arson

A country park in Middlesbrough has been damaged in a suspected arson attack.

Police said three fires were started at Hemlington Lake on Wednesday, damaging the habitats of water vole - a protected species.

The fires also caused extensive damage to three jetties and repairs will cost at least £3,000, Cleveland Police said.

A force spokesman said a prosecution under the Wildlife and Countryside Act could be brought.

He said: "It is believed the fires were started deliberately, and at one point the plume of smoke could be seen several miles away in Eaglescliffe."

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