A stone landmark that began forming some 320 MILLION years ago has been callously vandalised by a group of youths.
The series of large, balancing sandstone rocks known as the Brimham Rocks litter the York Moors and attract thousands of visitors every year.
However one of the ‘irreplaceable’ balancing stones has been toppled from its perch by a group of five people.
The youngsters were spotted pushing the rock off the crag at the National Trust owned tourist spot at Summerbridge, North Yorkshire, on Friday June 1.
Helen Clarke, from the National Trust, said: ‘It might have been fun for some people. Actually, it is just completely pointless and needless.’
A North Yorkshire Police statement added: ‘At around 8.45pm on Friday, 1 June a group of five young people were seen pushing a rock at the top of one of the crags.
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‘This resulted in the rock falling from the crag causing damage to the crag face.
‘The damage this has caused is irreplaceable and it is now in a potentially dangerous condition.
‘The incident has not only caused considerable damage to both the rock and the crag face, but those responsible also put themselves in danger and have created a potential hazard for other visitors to Brimham Rocks.’
The rocks – also known as Millstone Grit – were formed after being eroded by water, glaciation and wind.
Many of the formations have been named for visitors to spot including the Sphinx, the Watchdog, the Camel, the Turtle and the Dancing Bear.
Anyone with any information about the identity of those responsible are urged to contact officers on 101, choosing option 2 and quote reference 12180097959.
Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.