Shocking graffiti spoils Whitburn's coastline as vandals target cliff face

Vandals have spoiled Whitburn’s stunning coastline by spraying graffiti tags onto the side of a cliff and onto popular bird watch huts.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 3:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th August 2020, 4:02 pm

A cliff face near to what is known locally as The Wherry has been defaced in recent weeks, with vandals spraying graffiti symbols onto the side of the cliff.

Meanwhile bird watching huts on the Whitburn wetlands have also been vandalised with similar graffiti tags.

Condemning the vandalism, a South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “Graffiti is an act of vandalism and creates a negative impression of our borough.

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Vandals have sprayed graffiti on The Wherry cliffs at Whitburn.

"It is especially frustrating that someone has chosen to spoil such a beautiful location along our coastline in this way.

"It shows a clear lack of respect for this natural environment."

The Wherry is managed by the National Trust who are now working with the council to find a way of removing the graffiti without causing further damage.

A council spokeswoman said: “The sensitivity of the rock face and difficulties with access make tackling graffiti in this particular location more problematic.

The graffiti on the side of the cliff face at The Wherry in Whitburn. Photo by John Short.

“We will need to give careful consideration to the safety of any clean-up crew and also the removal of the graffiti where conventional methods may not be appropriate at this Site of Special Scientific Interest.

"We will be working with the National Trust and other local and national partners to find solutions.”

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Eric Wilton, general manager for the National Trust Souter Lighthouse and the Leas, said: “We are saddened by the vandalism to this special place.

Graffiti sprayed onto the side of The Wherry cliffs at Whitburn.

"As a conservation charity, the National Trust works hard to protect and preserve Souter Lighthouse and the Leas so that it can be enjoyed by the general public and be a safe habitat for the wildlife that call it home.

“We’ll be working alongside South Tyneside Council to establish the most appropriate way of removing this graffiti from this sensitive, environmentally important area.”

Anyone with information on instances of graffiti should contact the council.

A council spokeswoman said: “Cleaning up graffiti places an additional and unnecessary burden on our extremely stretched resources and the charitable funds of the National Trust.

Graffiti at Whitburn's The Wherry.

"We would encourage people to pass on any information about instances of graffiti by calling the council on (0191) 427 7000.”

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Graffiti has also been sprayed on Whitburn's coastal park bird watching station.