Tayside and Central Scotland

Thieves target Tom Weir statue site on shores of Loch Lomond

Tom Weir statue Image copyright Paul Saunders Photography
Image caption The statue was unveiled in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of Tom Weir's birth

The site of a statue of popular countryside broadcaster Tom Weir has been targeted by thieves.

The thieves broke into donations posts and stole funds earmarked for maintaining the statue and its associated picnic area, on the shores of Loch Lomond.

The Balmaha Bay statue was unveiled in December 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of Tom Weir's birth.

Broadcaster, writer and climber Mr Weir died in 2006 aged 91.

A public appeal raised more than £70,000 for the raising of the statue and the redevelopment of the picnic area.

The thieves used bolt cutters to remove padlocks from the three donation posts.

'Thoughtless act'

Sandy Fraser, of the Oak Tree Inn, which looks after the site, said the theft was "very sad news" and had set back fundraising efforts.

He said a nearby coffee shop and cottage had already been targeted by thieves this year.

The site costs about £5,000 a year to maintain.

James Fraser, of the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, said the amount taken would not have been substantial as the donation posts were emptied regularly.

He said: "Nonetheless, this thoughtless act serves as reminder that we need to remain vigilant and increase our efforts to protect this very special heritage site which has been enjoyed by almost a million visitors over the past five years.''

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