Ancient rocks targeted by vandals

Dr Bob Bowes

ONE of the town’s most iconic landmarks was vandalised last week when the Wellington Rocks were desecrated with graffiti.
The senseless act has caused outrage on social media and may cause irreparable damage to the sandstone features which date back to the Early Cretaceous period – over 100 million years ago.
Steve Budden, warden for Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons, said removing the graffiti would cost the Commons Conservators – who are responsible for looking after the area – ‘around £500’ on a budget that is already ‘stretched’.
The job would have to be done by hand in order to avoid damage he said, adding: “It is very frustrating. You cannot blast it off with a jet wash because the sandstone is very fragile and if you break through the outer layer it will corrode it.”
Mr Budden plans to get the graffiti removed ‘as soon as possible’ with a view to complete the job by the end of the week as he fears failure to act fast will encourage others to vandalise the rocks.

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