A young teenager has been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed an award-winning bird hide at Loch Leven Nature Reserve.
The 14-year-old boy was caught after contacting the reserve to turn himself in – a move that has been praised by the conservation organisation.
NatureScot’s Mill Hide was gutted in the blaze which occurred between 7pm and 8pm on Thursday.
Following widespread anger over the fire, the youngster got in touch with Loch Leven Nature Reserve to own up to his actions.
A spokesperson for the reserve said: “One of the individuals involved has contacted us and owned up to the fire raising at the Mill Hide.
“Of course whilst not condoning their actions in any way, I hope everyone will appreciate what this admission will have taken to do when their actions have caused such public outcry.
“The sheer volume of positive thoughts and offers of help we have received is truly astonishing its really hard to keep up with them all.
“Lets maintain that by looking forward to a new start for the hide in the future and consider all the positive links and connections that will I hope be forged as a result of this.
“The loch is still here and we all still have the natural beauty of Loch Leven to enjoy in these difficult times.
“They’ll be a lot to do for us next week working out the way forward for the hide.”
Locals were also keen to commend the young man and his family for coming forward
One said: “I think he was very brave.
“His poor mum t0o – but a real credit to her parenting on how he has dealt post events.
“We have all made a poor choice at one point or more.”
Both locals and Loch Leven Nature Reserve said they would be fundraising to rebuild the hide, which was built in 2011 and situated on the edge of Kinross behind the Todd and Duncan yarn mill.
The hide had won awards for its architectural design.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a deliberate fire at Loch Leven Nature Reserve which happened on Thursday February 18.
“A report will be submitted to the Youth Justice Assessor and police enquiries are ongoing into the incident.”