Perthshire Advertiser

Teenager (14) arrested after fire destroys popular hide

- PAUL CARGILL

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed an award-winning bird hide at Loch Leven National Nature Reserve last week.

NatureScot’s popular Mill Hide was completely gutted in the blaze, which is believed to have occurred between 7pm and 8pm last Thursday evening (February 18).

The hide was built back in 2011 and had won awards for its architectu­ral design.

NatureScot’s reserve manager Neil Mitchell remarked last week: “The hide is hugely popular and over the years has brought so many people joy, allowing them to experience and connect with nature at the reserve.

“It was a beautiful building that has won several awards, and many visitors will have snapped views from it. Sadly we’ve now had to fence off the site for public safety.

“While it’s gutting to see it destroyed, the response from the community and the general public has been amazing.

“Given this bird watching site’s popularity and fantastic loch side location, we are determined to replace the hide as soon as possible.”

Local MSP Roseanna Cunningham said she hoped to see the facility fixed soon.

She said: “The mythical phoenix may not be amongst the many bird species to be seen at Loch Leven but hopefully the Mill Hide can rise again from the ashes and once again provide cover for those looking to enjoy the reserve’s natural beauty and sheltered views of the loch and its feathered residents.”

A Police Scotland spokespers­on said yesterday: “A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a fire at Loch Leven Nature Reserve which happened on Thursday, 18 February, 2021.

“A report will be submitted to the Youth Justice Assessor and police enquiries are ongoing into the incident.”

Anyone with any further informatio­n about the incident should call Police Scotland on 101.

 ??  ?? Wrecked The Mill Hide was left in ruins after last Thursday’s fire
Wrecked The Mill Hide was left in ruins after last Thursday’s fire

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