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Statue of outdoors legend Tom Weir raided by thieves

Donation boxes were broken into using bolt cutters and cash inside was stolen at the weekend.

Thieves targeted the statue of Tom Weir at the weekend
Thieves targeted the statue of Tom Weir at the weekend Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

A statue of the legendary TV broadcaster and author Tom Weir has been raided by thieves.

Donations used to maintain the monument at Balmaha on Loch Lomondside were stolen.

The theft was discovered by visitors to the site overlooking the famous loch at the weekend.

Bolt cutters were used to remove padlocks from three donation posts, and cash inside was taken.

The act has been condemned by volunteers who work to main the statue and surrounding picnic area.

Sandy Fraser of the nearby Oak Tree Inn 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."

He added: "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 of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs charity, said: "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 charity is busy preparing to mark the millionth visitor in the run up to the fifth anniversary of the statue unveiling on December 29 which is also the 105th anniversary of Tom's birthday.

It costs around £5000 a year to maintain the statue and the site in good condition for visitors to enjoy.

Tom was a prolific writer and broadcaster on Scotland's great outdoors for more than 50 years and until his death in 2006.

He lived for many years with his late wife, Rhona at Gartocharn at the southern end of Loch Lomond where she was head teacher at the local primary school.

Tom was best known for his popular TV series Weir's Way which ran between 1976 and 1987 on Scottish Television.

Statue of Tom Weir at Balmaha
Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

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