A picnic destination beloved by locals and tourists alike has had its donations box vandalised.
Michaelswood, in Aith, is a popular woodland walking destination on Shetland’s west side and has attracted glowing reviews from tourists on travel review website TripAdvisor.
But this morning Ray Ferrie, one of Michaelswood’s creators, found the park’s donations box destroyed and emptied by an opportunistic thief or thieves.
The incident had likely occurred during the dark hours of Friday evening into Saturday morning, Mr Ferrie believes.
He said: “We weren’t angry when it happened but saddened that someone could do this. This never used to happen in Shetland.
“The other thing that saddens us is that Michaelswood is a memorial wood for our son who’s deceased. It’s hard not to take it personally.”
Soon after finding the damaged box Mr Ferrie put a post on the Michaelswood facebook page where he recieved an overwhelmingly positive response from members of the public.
Many of those who replied to the post offered to donate towards the cost of £50 for replacing the donations box.
“It’s heartwarming to know that there are more good people than bad out there”, he said.
Michaelswood was created by Ray, Betty and Alan Ferrie in memory of their late son and brother, Michael.
Hundreds of trees have been planted there over the years. The area also features picnic areas and benches, a pirate ship and even a dinosaur trail.
A future project in pipeline could see the park introducing a reinforced ‘polycrub’ for visitors to seek shelter under when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Mr Ferrie has reported the damage to the police who are now investigating the incident.
The park was featured on the front cover of this month’s Shetland Life magazine.