A unique Scottish coastal scrambling route has been closed after theft of much of its fixed chains.
The Elie Chain Walk on the Fife coast features a series of chains that enables walkers to access the scrambling route ‘via ferrata’ style and forms part of the Fife Coastal Path, a 150km (93-mile) trail stretching from North Queensferry to the Tay Bridge.
But the section involving the chain walk has now been declared unsafe after criminals struck.
Sergeant Tony Doriano of Fife Constabulary said: “The Chain Link Walk represents a challenge at the best of times but to remove sections of it in this way is clearly reckless and puts walkers in further danger.
“Enquiries so far have revealed that a section of chain, measuring approximately 80m [260ft] in length, has been removed between 13 April and 19 April. Due to the location of the chain link walk and the quantity of chain removed it is suspected that a vehicle would have been used at some point.”
Fife Council’s Bill Wilson, team leader for countryside, leisure and cultural services, said: “The Elie Chain Walk is a unique coastal scramble which is a highly valued local feature. It is an historic attraction and is a remarkable part of the kingdom’s coast.
“People travel to it from far and wide, so it is very sad that it has sustained such damage.”
Sgt Doriano asked for the public’s help for information on the theft. He said: “I am appealing for any person who may have seen any suspicious vehicles or people in the area between 13 April and 19 April to contact the police on 0845 600 5702 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
The chain walk is thought to date from the 1920s and may have been placed originally for the benefit of fishermen. The chains were replaced by Fife Council in 2007.
A 78-year-old man died after a 15m (50ft) fall on the route in June last year and a woman had to be rescued after being injured in a 6m (20ft) tumble on the chain walk earlier this month.