Police and contractors have appealed from help from the public after a series of attacks on newly-restored fencing around Aignish Cemetery on the Braighe near Stornoway.
The barbed wire strands on top of the stock-proof fencing were systematically cut through and prepared, laminated notices left claiming barbed wire should not be used as it endangers dogs.
Western Isles Police have appealed for help saying on Twitter: “Between Friday 17/11/17 & Monday 20/11/17, damage was caused to barbed wire fencing around Aignish Cemetery. We'd like to appeal to anyone who has any knowledge of, or information about this incident, or suspicious behaviour at the Cemetery to report it to us. NH4465/17 refers.”
The contractor involved, Mr Mitchell Thompson of Thompson Grounds Maintenance & Fencing from Brue, said on Facebook: “Last weekend someone decided cut through one of our newly built fences at the Aignish Cemetery. They cut through the barbed wire in multiple places and left it on the ground in the way of animals and other people.
“They left laminated notes on the fence saying "Why barbed wire, it rips dogs open".
“While barbed wire is sharp, it is also there to prevent stock from getting into the cemetery as the land surrounding is a grazing park.
“Dogs should be on leads while in the park so should be nowhere near the the barbed wire.
“The police have been informed but I would be grateful if people could share this post as someone might know or have seen something suspicious around the cemetery between Friday the 17th and Monday the 20th.”
Commentators on Facebook pointed out that the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which governs public access to land is quite clear, stating: “The outdoors is, however, not risk free and can never be made so. The public need to be aware themselves that they are responsible for their own actions when exercising their access rights and that "taking responsibility for your own actions" is one of the key principles of the Code.” And pointing out that necessary fencing is a hazard which may cause injury to the public while exercising their access rights, if they choose to be irresponsible.
Another comment stated: “I was brought up to respect my forebears and their resting place and to respect other people’s property. We had something similar in Uig when someone cut through stock fencing posts with a chainsaw and left similar notes.”