Vandals ruin car park near beauty spot
A PRIME beauty spot in Bolton is being ruined by vandals targeting its car park because of lax security at night, according to residents.
The car park at Horrocks Hill Wood is consistently damaged by egg-throwing litter louts, who take advantage of it being left unlocked at night to use it as a meeting point.
The Forestry Commission, who look after the wood and all its facilities, said it would stage weekly litter-picks at the car park and will continue to search for a solution to night-time security.
One suggestion could be regular local visitors being “key holders”, having the ability to lock up after hours.
A popular spot for older people and day-trippers, the car park provides views of Blackburn and Bury, as well as being home to memorial benches. Keith Booth, aged 66, of Chorley Old Road, said he feels “embarrassed” when he takes relatives to the site.
“Visitors come here and I feel embarrassed frankly that this is what they see of Bolton,” he said.
“People I know have come up here with me and I feel ashamed.
“A lot of people have memorial benches there — a friend of mine has a memorial bench for his wife there and it’s disgraceful that the rubbish problem is so bad.”
He said vandalism has been happening at the car park for years in different forms.
He added: “The trouble is young lads go there in cars at night with food and they leave a terrible mess.
“They used to do wheelies there on their bikes but then a barrier was put down halfway across to stop them doing that.
“I just cannot understand why the gate is not locked at night.”
The Forestry Commission said no one has been tasked with locking the car park at night since an arrangement with a local farmer was deemed impractical a few years ago.
It ensures the car park is cleaned every Monday, but insist the car park is too far from their office for a member of staff to lock it at night.
A spokesman said: “Our local Forester has tried on a number of occasions to engage someone to lock the car park without any success.
“We will speak to our contractor with a view to increasing the litter picking and look again at the closing of the barrier.
“We have a number of isolated woodlands, similar to Horrocks Wood, and I wonder if we can work something out with local dog-walkers, enabling them to be key holders and do the opening and closing on our behalf.”
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