A VIEWING tower at Risley Moss Nature Reserve has been destroyed after it was 'deliberately' set alight.

Firefighters from Birchwood were called to the scene at around 7.15pm yesterday where the wooden platform was in flames.

Hose reel jets were used to tackle the blaze and police were called as firefighters believe the fire was started on purpose.

A council spokesman confirmed that it will cost at least £200,000 to replace the viewing platform, which was built 40 years ago.

More than £900 has already been donated to a fundraising page, which was started to help rebuild the tower.

Cllr Tony Higgins said: “I’m personally very sad about this callous vandalism.

"This platform was a really useful resource for local people to look across this lovely site and observe the wildlife. I’m disgusted that someone would destroy it.”

Police are reviewing CCTV of the area as part of an investigation into the fire.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 925 of July 20 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.