Beauty spot vandals have come under fire for torching a bench at Kirriemuir Hill.
Community leaders roundly condemned the “wanton vandalism” which completely destroyed the bench beside the car park.
It is thought a wheelie bin was set alight and then put under the bench, leaving only a charred circle where the bench stood.
Efforts are already being made to have a replacement put up.
The town has already rallied with offers of support as calls were made for anyone with information about the weekend incident to pinpoint those responsible.
It comes as volunteers continue preparations for the re-opening of a café at the Barrie pavilion on the popular Hill, which is home to the Neverland children’s playpark.
Angus Provost and Kirriemuir councillor, Ronnie Proctor said: “It is just another incident of senseless vandalism costing the council and the taxpayers of Angus money that could be usefully spent on other things.
“I just can’t see what they get out of doing something like this and if anyone knows anything about this then they should come forward.
“The council and volunteers have worked really hard to make Kirrie Hill an attractive place.
“It’s loved by the people of Kirrie and it entices visitors which helps the business of the town.
“This gives a bad impression and those responsible really should realise the negative effect it has.”
He added: “Numerous people, including Kirrie Rotary and others have volunteered to try to get it replaced.
“I have been in touch with our parks officers and hopefully we will be able to get a replacement bench, but hopefully with the other support we could maybe get more put up there.”
Kirriemuir Community Council chairwoman Heather Kelly said: “It beggars belief that folk would do this.
“But we can’t undo what those morons have done.
“They have been very, very silly and I do hope they feel bad about what they have done.”
There have been reports of youths gathered at The Hill around the time the incident happened on Friday night.
“If anyone has information they can pass it to any of the community councillors and we would be glad to pass it on to the police or council,” she added.
“Or they can give it anonymously through Crimestoppers if they don’t want to go to the police.”
David Hoskins of Kirrie Rotary Club said: “It is clear that the community is disgusted with this act of wanton vandalism.”
The incident happened as Kirriemuir Regeneration Group members are planning the re-opening of the pavilion gifted to the town by Peter Pan creator, J M Barrie.
It houses the camera obscura – one of only three in Scotland – and the group saved the attraction from closure in 2015.
KRG treasurer Irena Krasinska-Lobban said the aim is to be able to offer visitors to The Hill takeaway refreshments and hopefully a café service from next month.
“Because of the pandemic we still can’t open the camera at the moment,” she said.
The historic equipment is housed in the roofspace of the pavilion and the cramped access to it will keep the shutters up for now.
“We’re disappointed, but our main concern is the safety of our volunteers,” added Irena.
KRG operates the toilets at both Kirrie Hill and The Den, and the Barrie pavilion has been closed since October 19 for the winter season before the pandemic struck.
Since then the group has used its funds to support a range of causes including the town’s Christmas lights and youth project.
But Covid-19 put stop to a double celebration around the town’s famous author son.
Irena added: “The Barrie 160 anniversary of his birth was to have taken place in June last year and we also had plans for the 90th anniversary of the pavilion opening.
“It was a disappointment those didn’t happen, but we have kept in touch with all our volunteers.
“We just hope to be able to open up as much as possible as soon as we are able and have lots of ideas for the future.”