THIEVES have stripped lead from the roof of an 18th century Palladian-style building in North Yorkshire - by climbing scaffolding installed to carry out renovation work.

North Yorkshire Police said the thieves caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the roof of the Temple of Victory in the grounds of Allerton Park at Flaxby, near Knaresborough.

A spokesman said that some time between last Thursday and Saturday, the offenders climbed the scaffolding and removed lead from the Grade II* listed building's roof.

"Officers from North Yorkshire Police's Rural Taskforce are appealing for anyone with information about the theft to contact them: phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference number NYP-31032018-0336," he said.

"North Yorkshire has thousands of heritage sites across the county - they're part of the reason why it's such an attractive place to live and visit. Our Rural Taskforce is working with partner agencies and the wider community to protect such sites, so that others can continue to enjoy them for many years to come.

"Repairing the damage caused to heritage assets is expensive, and the cost to communities can often be immeasurable. If you have an interest in heritage, or live near a historical site, please keep an eye out, and report any suspicious activity to us on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress."