Landowners can be vandals

Lordenshaw's graffiti
Lordenshaw's graffiti

Ms Wrangham (Gazette, May 1) is, of course, correct: Damage to rock art is at least vandalism and may well be criminal.

I have looked at the defaced stone at Birky Hill near Rothbury. The defacing is ugly, but so shallow that it will weather away within a couple of years.

I cannot condone whoever did it, but Ms Wrangham can rest assured that the need for idle scratching of names and tags usually lessens with maturity. But not always.

I trust Ms Wrangham feels as angry about the wanton and long-lasting graffiti carried out by the Leatherland family around St Cuthbert’s Cave.

But they of course were the landowners – the very people she appears to think are the true guardians of the countryside.

Just one factual correction to Ms Wrangham’s letter: The public right to roam on open access land extends to spring, autumn and winter – not just the summer.

Ray Clarke,

The Old Post Office,

Newton on the Moor