A Dundee beauty spot has been targeted by vandals, who have spray-painted orange graffiti over large murals on buildings at Clatto Reservoir.
The graffiti was discovered on Friday, with Dorothy McHugh, who runs the Friends of Clatto group, describing it as “mindless rubbish”.
Large drawings of a kingfisher and terrapin have been sprayed over in orange markings, appearing to have a ‘tag’ of some kind on it, often associated with youth gangs.
The buildings are owned by the city council.
Dundee’s Lord Provost, Ian Borthwick, called the actions “despicable” and “disgusting”.
Dorothy told the Tele: “On the far side of the reservoir there’s a building and we have murals on it. The original mural was of a kingfisher and was done by graffiti artist Paco Graff, the well-known Dundee graffiti artist who’s originally from France.
“He did the original, it’s been there for years, the beautiful kingfisher on the side of the building.
“Then, about a year ago, it was vandalised, so a graffiti artist called Scotty Sutherland came and restored the kingfisher for us.
“Then we asked him to do Terry the Terrapin on one of the other walls, because we have a terrapin at Clatto, so he did that as well. It has been sprayed all over with rubbish graffiti – someone who’s not terribly talented.
“So, that’s very sad. It’s all over Terry the Terrapin and at the side, it’s all a bit of a mess.
“Scotty is going to come up and have a look at it and see what he can do, if he can restore it in some way. I’m still waiting to hear if that has happened or not.”
Clatto Park houses the reservoir, woodlands, paths and a play area, with the reservoir created as part of Dundee’s water supply in 1874, but is no longer connected to the supply network.
Dorothy said she said there had been intermittent bouts of vandalism across Clatto over the years.
She said: “These guys have done these drawings for us out of the goodness of their hearts, you know? We liked the kingfisher and then asked for the terrapin, and Scotty did that and it was marvellous.
“It’s obviously someone with an orange spray can, but you know that people leave ‘tags’ – in one piece of the graffiti it says ‘DCP’ – that’ll be their ‘tag’ – Scotty is going to try and find out if anyone knew whose tag it was.”
Dorothy said the incident had not been reported to police as, sadly, she doesn’t believe much could be done to trace those responsible.
“We didn’t report it to the police, because really there’s nothing can be done – you couldn’t patrol an area like Clatto,” she said.
“There’s been little incidents of vandalism over the years; there’s really nothing the police can do, but this most recent vandalism is just mindless rubbish.
“There’s been other things like burning copper wire, that’s happened a few times. We just clear up the mess, we sometimes let the police know but we don’t expect them to be able to do anything about it.”
Dorothy said that due to the most recent incident, the Friends of Clatto group may consider investing in CCTV equipment to prevent future incidents, but at present, there are no cameras in place.
She said: “It’s quite a vast area, you would need quite a lot of cameras in different areas to cover it all. But maybe in the future we can try and raise some funds and put some CCTV in – it would be an idea.
“I think it will be kids. It was a nice summer night, a warm evening; ‘what mischief can we get up to?’
“But sadly they can do what they like up at Clatto because there’s nothing to stop them.
“It’s a lovely place and it’s quiet and secluded, so sadly that’s why it may have been targeted.
“I noticed the other day two of the life rings had been taken from their stations and thrown into the water, one of our volunteers, Ron, usually goes and retrieves them and puts them back.”
Lord Provost Ian Borthwick, whose Strathmartine ward includes Clatto Park, said: “Vandalism of any kind is deplorable, but when it’s targeted on a building such as those at Clatto, which makes such a major contribution to both adults and children, for tourism, leisure and learning, it’s lower than deplorable – it’s utterly despicable.
“I hope the culprits will be caught and dealt with by the authorities for these disgusting actions, and on top of that, I hope the local authority can do its utmost to repair any of the damage caused.”
A spokesman said no incidents of vandalism had been reported to Police Scotland at Clatto Park in the past week.
Neighbourhood Services Convener, Councillor Anne Rendall, said: “There is a lot of great work being done in Dundee to encourage individuals and groups to help in the effort to prevent litter, dog fouling, graffiti and fly-tipping through our Take Pride in Your City campaign.
“It’s extremely disappointing that this act of graffiti is undermining all the good work going on to make our city a place for everyone to enjoy.”