Police investigating fire damage at Newmillerdam

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A fire which destroyed part of an award-winning country park trail at Newmillerdam is being investigated by police.

Anyone with information about what caused the blaze at Lawns Dike Trail, a stretch of wooden boardwalk created by volunteers, is asked to come forward.

Pic by Lee Ward

Pic by Lee Ward

The £55,000 trail opened in the summer of 2013 and included seating, picnic tables and a viewing point to allow visitors to access a previously unused area of the park.

The scheme was named Best New Build Environmental Project in the 2014 Wakefield Civic Society Design Awards.

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We can confirm we received a report of criminal damage by fire to the viewing platform and boardwalk at Newmillerdam.

“It is thought to have happened at around 5am on Sunday, June 5.

“Enquiries are ongoing at this stage.”

Anyone with information should call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

The fire destroyed the viewing platform along with around 30 metres of boardwalk.

Action group the Friends of Newmillerdam Country Park, which created the trail, said on its website: “The viewing platform was constructed of recycled hard plastic and has been reduced to a pile of ash by the intensity of the blaze, which has also severely damaged surrounding trees.”

Wakefield Council said Newmillerdam was open as normal despite the fire.