Thieves target Tom Weir statue

Tom weir statue (1)

Donation posts at the statue were broken into over the weekend. 

2nd December 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A charity is appealing for vigilance after thieves stole donations left at a statue of climber and broadcaster Tom Weir.

The statue, at Balmaha on the shore of Loch Lomond, was targeted over the weekend, with donations posts being broken into and the funds within stolen.

Police are now investigating the theft after visitors to the site reported the crime on Sunday.

Conservation and heritage charity, the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said it was “very disappointed” by the theft.

Sandy Fraser, who runs the local Oak Tree Inn and looks after the statue site, said: “This is very sad news and a setback for the efforts to raise funds to maintain this hugely popular site. It follows on from two other break ins this year at our St Mocha Coffee Shop and one of our nearby cottages.

“Hopefully the police will be able to track down the thieves who are undermining the great work of voluntary groups in honouring the memory of Tom Weir who did so much to popularise the great outdoors.’’

James Fraser, chairman of the Friends, added: “We are very disappointed that the Tom Weir site has been targeted by thieves who used bolt cutters to remove padlocks from three donation posts.

“Fortunately, we regularly empty the donation posts so the amount stolen will not have been substantial but, nonetheless, this thoughtless act serves as reminder that we need to remain vigilant and increase our efforts to protect this very special heritage site which has been enjoyed by almost a million visitors over the past five years.’’

The site, which incorporates a lifelike statue of the much-loved mountain man, will mark its fifth anniversary on 29 December, which is also the 105th anniversary of Weir’s birth.

It costs around £5,000 a year to maintain the statue and the site in good condition, with donations left at the site making a major contribution to its upkeep.