The Diss RiverCare Group says it is “very disappointed” after multiple instances of vandalism and arson at the riverbank threatened to overshadow their recent work.
Three litter bins were deliberately set on fire on the walking path alongside the River Waveney, which runs behind the Diss Morrisons and Tesco supermarkets off Victoria Road.
A noticeboard next to the river, which had been installed by Morrisons, was destroyed as well, whilst a wooden barrier indicating the end of the walking route was also torn down and set alight.
The damage was discovered and reported to police on Sunday, but Diss RiverCare Group member Colin Mobbs said he believed the vandalism might have occurred during midweek, possibly as early as Tuesday, May 10.
“We do good work down there. A lot of people get a lot of pleasure in walking down there. We won’t let this sort of thing beat us,” he told the Diss Express.
Mr Mobbs appealed to anybody who may have information about what happened to come forward.
These incidents occurred just days after the RiverCare Group’s working party had celebrated completing the latest stage of improvement works at the river, collaborating with the local supermarkets to resurface a well-used gravel path.
Beth Dewhurst, also of the Diss RiverCare Group and a former town councillor, stated the mood of the volunteers was “all quite positive” earlier this month, and it was a shame this had been spoiled by the actions of vandals.
She said: “It has come as quite a shock when we have just done such good work along that path.
“We have been established since 2011, and for the most part, when people are walking along, they really appreciate what we have done. We really have worked hard to make a difference.”
Anybody who witnessed any suspicious activity near the River Waveney in Diss between May 10-15, should contact Norfolk Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
* The RiverCare Group has confirmed it will still go ahead with its planned social event at The Saracens Head in Mount Street, Diss, on Tuesday at 7pm.
All are welcome to attend and speak to members about the organisation’s work and its future projects.
For additional details, please contact Beth Dewhurst on 01379 641480.