Visitor left 'gobsmacked and disgusted' after vandals cause damage to lost village at Derbyshire reservoir
Vandals have caused damage to the remains of a lost village at Ladybower Reservoir.
Low water levels mean the ruins of the village Derwent, which was flooded in 1943 to make way for the reservoir, are currently on show.
Visitors have been flocking from all over the country to see the ruins, which includes a church, village hall and manor house.
But vandals have now caused damage to them, scrawling messages over the buildings and throwing stones from the ruins into the mud.
Clare Whittaker, of Sheffield, has visited the area 11 times to see the ‘beautiful’ structures, but after her most recent visit was left ‘disgusted’ at the actions of both adults and children who were seen damaging the structures.
She said: “I went last Sunday and was shocked at how many people were there. It was so sad to see. We’re very lucky to get to see some good history but people were deliberately destroying the history.
“I saw families with children, and the adults were as bad as the kids, pushing stones off the wall and chucking them into the mud.
“There were some lovely black tiles and they were kicking them about. I was gobsmacked and disgusted, especially to see the adults damaging the beautiful stonework.”The Peak District National Park Authority is now appealing to visitors to respect the site.
Anna Badcock, the Peak District National Park’s cultural heritage manager, said: “We are shocked by recent social media reports that a small number of visitors to the Ladybower reservoir ‘lost villages’ have been seen removing brickwork and other features and throwing these items into the mud at the base of the reservoir.
“Whilst we understand that people are fascinated by the appearance of these usually hidden ruins, the structures remain an iconic archaeological feature of the Peak District National Park.
"As we wouldn’t expect people to vandalise any of the National Park’s many heritage buildings or other archaeological features, the remains of the homes and other submerged buildings of Derwent and Ashopton are no exception.
“We urge people to leave these features intact to open a valuable window onto history, not just today, but for future generations to enjoy.”
A Peak District National Park spokesperson added: “Safety signs remain in place for visitors to the Upper Derwent Valley, and we ask that people respect these and the advice of rangers and volunteers on site, to ensure that everyone can enjoy this rare spectacle safely.”
Visitors to the area are also being warned to take care after a number of people became trapped in the mud as they attempted to catch a glimpse of the ruins.