HISTORIC Second World War relics near Gourock have been targeted by vandals - barely a week after preservation work was carried out.

Gates and grilles at the Larkfield anti-aircraft battery close to Coves Reservoir have been ripped away by mindless yobs.

They were only installed last week as a way of preserving the protected buildings, by allowing people to still see inside while preventing entry.

The move was taken after the shelters became a hotbed for anti-social behaviour in recent times.

Inverclyde Council, which is responsible for the upkeep of the structures, gained approval in January to carry out work after consultation with Historic Environment Scotland.

Now, barely a week after the project was finished, the battery has yet again been targeted.

A council spokesman said: "These are buildings of historic and archaeological interest and we have a duty to do all that we can to preserve them.

"Unfortunately, a few mindless individuals seem hell bent on causing as much distress and disruption, not to mention damage, simply for the sake of it.

"We would ask anyone who knows who is responsible to pass that information on to the police, who are investigating."

The heavy anti-aircraft battery was built as part of an extensive system of defences along the Clyde during World War Two.

The concrete structures occupy an area overlooking Greenock, Gourock and the river and feature a command post, several gun emplacements and a number of associated shelters.

They are recognised as being of historic importance given their role in the defence of the Clyde during the war.

But the local landmark has been used as a drinking den in recent years.

Following the vandalism, the local authority has carried out temporary repairs and officials are now considering how best to secure the historic structures permanently.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is urged to call the police on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.