Bridlington Rocks gets council's backing after removal concerns

Parents and children are not happy.
Parents and children are not happy.

Parents in Bridlington were left horrified at reports that brightly coloured stones which had been hidden as part of a giant treasure hunt game had been thrown in the bin.

But East Riding of Yorkshire Council say staff haven't been told to remove painted stones and instead have insisted that they support the initiative.

Amy Friberg, 12, not happy her art work is treated as rubbish

Amy Friberg, 12, not happy her art work is treated as rubbish

The Bridlington Rocks craze took off last summer, when thousands of painted pebbles were put out around the town by families, who searched for other stones and re-hid them.

Organisers were looking forward to getting the project going again for Easter when reports started coming in.

Louise Friberg from the Bridlington Rocks Facebook group said: “We really are disappointed and couldn’t believe it when we heard.

“A lot of members of our Facebook group have come forward to say they have seen council workmen disposing of the rocks.

“One person saw them being thrown in the bin and asked why and he said that’s what his bosses had told him to do.” Another member of the group phoned the council and was told that the children’s pebbles were a trip hazard and were being removed and disposed of.

Louise said: “We leave them at the side of paths and tell members not to leave them on grass because they could damage lawnmowers. We try to be as considerate as we can and they are definitely not a trip hazard.”

She said the project was a great way of getting children off their game consoles and away from TV screens.

“We have just started it up again as the weather gets better. It keeps kids busy and active during the holidays,” Louise added. “They can be inside painting or outside hunting. The council should be supporting us, not sabotaging us. You see photos on Facebook of kids smiling when they have found one. It has been done up and down the country and nobody else has had this problem.”

Paul Bellotti, interim director of environment and neighbourhood services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "The council is very supportive of this initiative, which also operates elsewhere in the East Riding, and is keen to work with the Bridlington Rocks Group to ensure that the painted stones are placed in locations that consider the needs of all - including pedestrians and particularly those who are partially sighted.

"Following concerns raised by a member of the Bridlington Rocks Group, the council has looked into suggestions that some of its staff have been removing the rocks as part of street cleaning operations.

"No instruction has been given to staff to remove the painted stones and our staff will only remove them if they are left in an inappropriate location on the highway."