Volunteers who have been working hard to turn around the fortunes of Craigtoun Park have expressed dismay at a recent spate of vandalism.
Friends of Craigtoun Park chairman Kyffin Roberts said that during the time that the Friends have been operating the amenities at Craigtoun, the park has suffered very little crime.
Unfortunately, he said, that has changed in recent weeks.
Mr Roberts said: “The Friends of Craigtoun was set up as a community group to rejuvenate the park and try to sustain the long-term future of the park.
“The Friends have been successful in attaining their aims so far. But the latest acts of vandalism are disappointing and disheartening for all of those involved with the Friends of Craigtoun.
“The petty acts of vandalism like taking the boats out after normal hours and breaking the gate off the Fairy Glen are annoying, as is the stealing of plants from the gardens, but the more serious acts of damaging listed structures will be expensive to repair.”
In the latest incident a stone orb was knocked off the wall of the Italian Garden.
This followed an earlier incident where a wrought-iron window frame was damaged in the Dutch village.
Mr Roberts added: “Whoever carried out this vandalism put themselves in danger, and the result of their actions could have led to members of the public being in danger from falling masonry.
“The Dutch Village and Italian Garden are both B-listed historic structures.
“The Friends of Craigtoun have long-term plans to restore both to their former glory.
“Vandalism of this sort will increase the cost of restoration and delay the restoration work.
“Police Scotland has been informed. We also need the help of the general public. I would ask the many runners and dog walkers using the park nowadays to show extra vigilance and report any incidents or suspicious behaviour by calling the police or leaving a message at 01334 472013.”
Sergeant Pat Turner said: “Police in St Andrews are investigating incidents of vandalism at Craigtoun Country Park that have occurred in recent weeks.
“This includes the theft of plants from the area as well as the deliberate unchaining of boats in the pond.
“There have also been break-ins to sheds in the park and in the Dutch village itself. However, officers have traced and charged a man in his 40s in connection with this offence.
“Police Scotland is carrying out inquiries in an effort to trace those responsible and ensure they are brought to justice. We have also increased our patrols in the area, and I would ask anyone who has information that can assist with our investigation to please call police on 101 or speak to any officer.”
The Friends celebrate the start of the full season by holding Craigtoun Park Country Fair on July 4 and 5.