VANDALS who have been booby-trapping a popular dog walking path by stretching copper wire across have been described as ‘foolish and irresponsible’.

Geoff Whitney was on his daily walk up Clinkham Road and around the pine trees in Great Harwood yesterday morning when he spotted the wire several inches off the ground.

He believes the person responsible was hoping to injure dogs.

He said: “We removed lots of it and there’s probably more.

“We were shocked, we walked into it slowly and didn’t know what it was.

“I think it was aimed at dogs or wildlife rather than cyclists. We hardly ever see bikers up there but so many dog walkers.

“We spoke to a young woman with two dogs who thinks she saw them laying it from a reel.

“I can’t see any other explanation than trying to hurt animals.

“Our old dog doesn’t go speeding around like many other dogs, but I could see it doing serious damage to dogs or even deer that frequent the woods.

“We were just worried about dogs getting hurt and having huge vet bills as it is so dangerous.

“We just wanted local people to be aware of it.

"We reported it to the police and they were on their way up to it after we left.”

Cllr Pat McGinley, who represents the Overton ward, said: “It is an absolute disgrace whether they are trying to hurt animals, dogs or even dog owners.

“I will be liaising with the police about trying to find the culprits.

“If anyone knows anything about any of the offenders doing this and don’t want to speak to the police then they can contact me and I will pass the information on. It is terrible especially in these times of lockdown where more people are going for a walk and they risk being hurt or pets getting hurt.”