The National Trust has urged people to come out and support Brimham Rocks despite the shocking vandalism which wrecked an Ice Age stone landmark.
An iconic rock formation, which has stood for 320 million years, was toppled by a group of youths at the start of this month in what police have described as an act of ‘mindless destruction’.
Police confirmed this week that one of the Brimham groupings had been pushed off a crag at the National Trust-owned tourist spot at Summerbridge, near Harrogate. It is understood that a group of five youths carried out the attack on June 1.
However, while the investigation is ongoing and police ask for help in catching the vandals, the National Trust has moved to reassure people that the site remains open for visitors.
A statement on their website reads: "Important notice: Please note: The damage to the rock is contained to one area, the rest of the site is open as usual so do come visit this special place."
A National Trust spokesperson said: “We’re incredibly frustrated and saddened that damage has been caused to one of the rocks at Brimham.
“This was a deliberate act of vandalism, which cannot be repaired.
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“The area around the rocks has been temporarily closed off whilst we conduct surveys to the wider rock formation to ensure its safety and stability.
“The main site remains open to visitors as usual.”
The rock formation was formed after being eroded by water, glaciation, and wind, and had been a feature of the Brimham Moors since the Ice Age.
Also known as Millstone Grit, it was one of many historic rocks on the crag. Others are known as the Sphinx, the Watchdog, the Camel, the Turtle, and the Dancing Bear.
A North Yorkshire Police statement said: “At around 8.45pm on Friday, 1 June a group of five young people were seen pushing a rock at the top of one of the crags.
“This resulted in the rock falling from the crag causing damage to the crag face. The damage this has caused is irreplaceable and it is now in a potentially dangerous condition.
“The incident has not only caused considerable damage to both the rock and the crag face, but those responsible also put themselves in danger and have created a potential hazard for other visitors to Brimham Rocks.
“If you have any information about the identity of those responsible please contact officers on 101, choosing option 2 and quote reference 12180097959. ‘Alternatively email email@example.com.”