A COMMUNITY art trail which resulted in an artist installing 11 sheep sculptures to celebrate Penistone’s farming heritage has been defaced by vandals.

Michael Disley’s sculptures - which were installed across the area last month after a two-year project - were targeted over the Christmas period and several were daubed with spray paint.

A joint statement, issued by Couns Hannah Kitching, David Greenhough and Mandy Lowe Flello, said: “We’re saddened and disappointed by the mindless vandalism that’s been inflicted on a number of our lovely sheep sculptures on our new art trail.

“We’ve been absolutely delighted by the positive response to the sculptures which really enhance some of the landmarks around our town.

“It’s heartbreaking to think that someone would deliberately ruin both the pieces themselves and other people’s enjoyment of them.

“This matter has been reported to the police - if anyone has any further evidence such as eyewitness reports or CCTV footage, or any other information, please do let them know so that they can continue to investigate.

“Deliberate defacement of public art pieces is a criminal offence, as well as being a petty and pathetic way to spend your time.

“Of course we have also reported this to the relevant teams at Barnsley Council, but as it is the Christmas break a number of key officers will not be back until the new year.

“A huge thanks to everyone who has been trying to clean them up, as well as cleaning some of the other items that were spray painted.”