3rd February 2017
Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service are treating the fire of the iconic statue as suspected arson.
Crews were first alerted to the blaze on the site of Snugbury’s Ice Cream Farm in Hurleston, near Nantwich between 5:30 and 6 o’clock last night (Thursday February 2).
The 40 foot figure has been completely destroyed as a result of the attack, now thought to be arson.
The popular statue of the Beatrix Potter character was put up last year to mark the 150th anniversary of the authors death.
Inspector Stuart York said, “Fortunately no-one was injured as a result of the fire but the consequences could have potentially been far worse had the fire not been put out so quickly, given its proximity to a major road.
“We are currently following up a number of lines of enquiry and I am keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have seen anyone acting suspiciously. If anyone believes that they have any information that could assist with our enquiries please come forward.”
Snugbury’s Ice Cream Farm has tweeted, welcoming the support from the community.
We are very sad to confirm Peter Rabbit was set-alight last night by an arsonist at 5.30pm. THANK YOU ALL for your heart felt messages! pic.twitter.com/c6joBDCbLT
— Snugburys Ice Cream (@Snugburys) February 3, 2017
Station Manager Matt Barlow said, “Our Nantwich firefighters battled to save this well known local landmark which was already well alight when they arrived. We are working closely with our colleagues at Cheshire Police to establish the cause of the fire and would urge anyone with any information to get in touch.”
A JustGiving page has been set up to rebuild the structure.
Both emergency services are now appealing for information from anyone near the area at the time of the incident.