Vandals could be destroying some of the country’s most valuable carved rocks and stones, experts warned yesterday.

A principal West Yorkshire archaeologist says he has “serious concerns” about the future of the carved rocks and stones on Rombalds Moor, Ilkley, after a spate of attacks.

He believes their lifespan could be cut short by a black dye, which has been daubed on some of the carvings.

The latest attacks was reported this week when dye was daubed on the Idol Stone on Ilkley Moor, apparently highlighting some of its features. Ian Sanderson, principal archaeologist at the West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service, described the act as thoughtless. “We’ve got serious concerns,” he said.

“The archaeology on Rombalds Moor and the carved rocks are all of national importance.

“The actual grafitti damage and the chemicals can impregnate the rocks and lead to increased erosion.

“Removal is difficult and can be problematic. It’s thoughtless activity which can be destructive of very important archaeological remains which belong to all of us. It’s criminal activity as well.”

Read more in the Ilkley Gazette.