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Vile vandalism at Culloden gives the wrong impression to Outlander tourists

Councillor Duncan Macpherson.
Councillor Duncan Macpherson.

Vandals have targeted a Highland beauty spot, prompting fears tourists could be put off the area.

Nazi signs, foul language, immature drawings as well as football team and derogatory terms about women and religion have been scrawled over much of the base posts of Culloden Viaduct.

One councillor has now raised his concerns with the police and Highland Council amid fears it will put people off visiting one of the most “iconic” areas in Scotland.

Councillor Duncan Macpherson, whose Inverness South ward takes in the viaduct, says the thousands of Outlander fans, and people visiting the nearby Culloden Battlefield site will be shocked at what they see.

Graffiti has been written on most of the plinths of the Culloden Viaduct. Picture by Sandy McCook

‘Reprehensible behaviour by a few thoughtless individuals’

Mr Macpherson said: “I was horrified when I saw the vile and offensive graffiti at this iconic railway viaduct.

“It is reprehensible behaviour by a few thoughtless individuals.

“It tarnishes the appearance of the magnificent Clava Railway Viaduct, also called Nairn Viaduct and Culloden Viaduct, as it spans the Culloden Moor crossing the River Nairn.

“It is a popular beauty spot and visitor attraction for coaches and minibuses bringing tourists to the area, who love to photograph and share their photos of the impressive red sandstone structure.

“The most recent graffiti was highlighted to me by a tour company owner, who was disappointed at how it portrays this wonderful landmark to visitors to the Highlands.

“What will all those people visiting the area, including the historians, the clansfolk and the Outlander tourists think?”

Leanach Cottage at Culloden Battlefield. Picture by Duncan Macpherson.

‘Let’s get it removed before the tourist season’

Mr Macpherson has also contacted Network Rail and Highland Council to make them aware of the “deplorable” behaviour in the hope it can be removed before tourist season gets fully under way at Easter.

He said: “Vandalism and graffiti only serve to lower the tone of our beautiful area for locals and visitors, who all enjoy and appreciate our unique historic landmarks and iconic structures.”

The incident comes hot on the heels of a smashed window pane on Leanach Cottage.

Mr Macpherson added “I will be calling for increased police patrols in the area and would urge anyone with information about this graffiti to please contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on the confidential freephone number 0800 555 111.”

Network Rail said that vandalism and trespass on the railway is illegal and dangerous, saying criminals face a £1,000 fine from courts. 

Many of the arches are covered in graffiti. Picture by Sandy McCook.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “We spend more than £3.5million every year removing graffiti from the rail network.

“That is money that could be better spent improving the railway but we are determined to tackle the problem and give the best impression we can to passengers and local communities.

“Trespassing on the railway to graffiti it can also have fatal consequences and it’s simply not worth risking your life for. We are grateful to the public for reporting graffiti so that we can arrange to remove it.”

Network Rail said it partnered with British Transport Police to encourage people to report incidents of trespassing and vandalism. If you see someone trespassing on the railway, call 0800 40 50 40 or 999, or text 61016.

Highland Council has been approached for comment.

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