Somerset

Midsomer scouts 'gutted' after vandals destroy hut

Midsomer Norton Scout hut Image copyright Rebecca Mears
Image caption The First Midsomer Norton Scouts' hut has been completely destroyed

A scout hut has been destroyed by "mindless" vandals who allegedly pulled it down using ropes and a 4x4 vehicle.

The First Midsomer Norton Scouts spent the last five years renovating the hut, near Bath, and work was due to finish next year.

It can only be accessed by foot or off-road vehicles as it is near a ford between Norton St Phillip and Wellow.

Assistant scout leader Rebecca Mears said: "The children are gutted that someone just wanted to ruin it for us.

"It's absolutely devastating."

'Welling up'

Some 200 children and young adults use the facility to enjoy the nearby countryside.

The landowner, who the scout group lease the site from, discovered the damage on Friday morning.

"The hearsay is [the culprits] hooked ropes up to the front to rip the doors off using a 4x4," said Mrs Mears.

"The scout leaders were welling up when we saw the pictures - it's all the time, energy and effort that's been put in."

The insurance firm has been informed and is due to make a site visit next week. Avon and Somerset Police has carried out door-to-door inquiries.

Image copyright Rebecca Mears
Image caption The scout hut had taken five years to renovate and was nearing completion

The hut is used to store gas bottles and basic camping equipment.

Mrs Mears said there were no signs that anything had been taken, so it was "mindless vandalism".

"Normally we'd let the kids go up and use the site, but they won't now be able to.

"They think the building will be ripped down - the big joists are snapped so it's highly unlikely it can hold its own."

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