Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused to a bird hide.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the arson attack on the hide, which happened at 9.30pm on Wednesday, February 22, at Howdon Wetlands in North Tyneside Dock, North Shields.
The two storey bird hut, sited behind the waterworks and near to two small ponds was used by local bird spotters.
The hut was secured by a fence and offenders gained access and deliberately set the hide on fire and completely destroyed it.
The hut – belonging to Northumbrian Water – was valued at £35,000 and police are treating the fire as arson.
Inspector Adrian Maher said: “The people responsible for this reckless act of arson have completely destroyed the bird hide which is upsetting for the people who enjoyed using it to bird watch.
“We’re appealing for help from the public to identify those responsible and anyone with information is asked to contact us.”
Stuart Pudney, Conservation and Land Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “This hide is a much-loved facility that enables the community to enjoy local birds in their natural habitat.
“Such mindless damage to a site that is enjoyed by bird enthusiasts and families from across the area deprives people of an opportunity to appreciate the nature on their doorstep.
“We would urge anyone who has any information about this attack to contact Northumbria Police.”
Police are appealing for witnesses.
Anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious should call police on 101, quoting reference number 278 of 27/02/17, or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.