Park seating area is set ablaze

The fire-ravaged bower seat at Dunnikier Park
The fire-ravaged bower seat at Dunnikier Park

Environmental supporters have reacted with disappointment and dismay after a community feature in Kirkcaldy fell victim to vandalism.

A wooden seating area, known as a bower, in Dunnikier Country Park, which sat within a dry stone wall in Dunnikier Country Park, was set alight early last week.

Ronnie Mackie

Ronnie Mackie

The structure was built by Greener Kirkcaldy with the help of a host of volunteers, along with some expert knowledge from the Central Scotland branch of the Dry Stonwe Walling Association, and the Dunikier Country Park Kirkcaldy Development Group.

The seat itself was made from the wood of an old tree from Ravenscraig Park and, as such, is very diffcult to replace.

The reckless act occurred after visitors to the park had made a fire at the back of the stone wall, then built another one on the seat.

Beer cans, bottles and other litter – including an asthma inhaler – was left strewn about nearby.

A lot of hard work had gone into it and a lot of passers-by were aware of it

it was a biodiversity area

Ronnie Mackie, a community gardener with the Development Group, who worked closely with the volunteers, said: “It was a great project that we did with quite a lot of volunteers.

It’s depriving the community of enjoyment, for no good reason other than boredom.”

Mr Mackie added it would not be eay to replace the wood, which the group had been lucky to get for nothing.

It could possibly be made usable as a seat again, he added, but it would always bear the scars of the damage.

Community Police Sergeant Jimmy Adamson said signs would be put up, asking for the public’s information.

Police Scotland later said it was being treated as a “suspicious fire” and were appealing for witnesses.

“The incident happened some time overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, July 19-20, within Dunnikier Park,” said a statement.

“A bench was set alight in the park, resulting in it sustaining extensive damage, and inquiries are ongoing to trace whoever was responsible. Anyone with information is asked to come forward.”

Sergeant Adamson added: “Fortunately, the fire did not spread further within Dunnikier Park, nor did this incident result in anyone being injured.

“Nevertheless, this was a reckless and needless act of destruction and we are following a number of lines of inquiry locally to identify the culprit.

“Anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious in the area between July 19-20 should contact police immediately.”

Those with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, or alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.