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Vandals deface heritage trail at beauty spot

PUBLISHED: 09:39 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:24 09 July 2019

The defaced heritage trail plaque, edited to obscure obscene language PICTURE: Archant

The defaced heritage trail plaque, edited to obscure obscene language PICTURE: Archant

Archant

Vandals have daubed offensive graffiti on signs just outside Fakenham, including a plaque for the heritage trail due to be officially launched this week.

One of the Norfolk Orbital Railway signs with graffiti, edited to obscure obscene language PICTURE: ArchantOne of the Norfolk Orbital Railway signs with graffiti, edited to obscure obscene language PICTURE: Archant

Several obscene words were written in red spray paint on to signs at the Three Brick Arches, where the old railway line crosses the river Wensum. The area is popular with walkers, one of whom said they were 'not really surprised' that the damage had occurred. The damage is believed to have occurred between Sunday night and Monday night, and police have been informed.

The bridge and signs are owned by Norfolk Orbital Railway, who won them at auction in 2009. The railway project aims to use the bridge in re-establishing the railway between Fakenham and Wymondham. David Bill, director and trustee of the project, said "This whole thing is a tragedy.

"We will be in contact with North Norfolk District Council to ask them to clean the graffiti off. We need the support of everyone to make this happen, and most do support it, but there always have to be a few who spoil it.

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"We have worse problems than a few people with pots of paint."

Previously, another of the plaques was stolen from the Gogg's Mill picnic area, just outside the town. Councillor George Acheson, who organised the trail, is offering £50 for its return.

Councillor Acheson said "I'm very upset by this, and I'm really upset for the railway, since they put in a tremendous amount of work in those signs.

"We will try to clean the paint off the plaque, but it would be stupid to replace an expensive sign with an expensive sign."

Three Brick Arches railway bridge, on the Wensum outside Fakenham PICTURE: Matthew UsherThree Brick Arches railway bridge, on the Wensum outside Fakenham PICTURE: Matthew Usher

Students from Fakenham Academy have trialled the trail ahead of its official launch next Thursday, held at 11am in the town's market place.

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