THOUSANDS of pounds worth of damage has been caused by a suspected arson attack at St Aidan’s country park near Swillington.
The country park is a former opencast coal site and its attractions include a massive machine called a walking dragline excavator that was used during the area’s years as an operational mine.
The machine is so big that a large lorry-mounted hoist is needed to gain access to it for inspection and repairs.
Now, however, the lorry has been destroyed by a fire that is thought to have been started deliberately by young vandals.
Paul Thompson, chairman of the Friends of St Aidan’s Walking Dragline Excavator, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The loss of this hoist means that we are unable to continue with maintenance and inspection at present. Our volunteers have looked after the machine for many years and what has happened has been really sickening to us all.”