It is with great sadness that The Bowes Museum has taken the decision to temporarily close all gates to the grounds following a spate of vandalism around the parkland.
The Museum closed to the public on Wednesday 18 March and since then the benches in the story area have been damaged, the totem pole pulled over and broken, there have been attempts to pull out outdoor trail markers and branches have been pulled down and plants uprooted.
The Museum is working with the police to find the perpetrators of these actions.
PC Michael Banks of Durham Constabulary said: “This is a shameful piece of criminal damage within the grounds of a historical location in Barnard Castle, anyone with information please contact Durham Constabulary quoting reference number DHM23032020-0189.”
The Director of The Bowes Museum, Adrian Jenkins, said: "It is a shame that the actions of a few will have an impact on many but this closure also ties in with the latest government advice to stay at home to help restrict the spread of coronavirus and the Museum is following in the footsteps of other organisations who have closed gated parks and gardens.
There are tips from our education officer on the Museum's social media platforms for keeping the kids, and yourselves, entertained while in isolation and we'll be updating the website regularly with new and exciting information about the collection.
In the meantime, please keep safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum and grounds when it reopens."