Concerns have been raised after two bonfires were found to have taken place in the centre of an ancient monument in Cirencester.

The Roman Amphitheatre is designated as a scheduled ancient monument and is the subject of regular routine inspections.

Recently, officers and Cirencester Town Council staff were concerned to find that bonfires had been started on the amphitheatre.

Acting inspector Garrett Gloyn of the Cotswold Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "We have had two incidents reported to us in June and we suspect the first fire to have taken place on June 1 and the second on the night of June 21.

"Given the nature of the site and possible damage to the monument we have recorded these incidents as criminal damage.

"My hope is that these bonfires have been started as part of a social gathering in the amphitheatre rather than an attempt to cause damage.

"Perhaps people are unaware of the sites significance or the damage that they might be causing and I hope that by raising the issue we succeed in informing them and preventing a recurrence.

"I would also ask all those people who use site on a day to day basis to call us and let us know if they see fires being started."

Cirencester Town Council, Cotswolds Police and English Heritage are working together to promote the safe use and conservation of the Roman Amphitheatre in Cirencester.

Brona Langton from Cirencester Town Council said: “Cirencester Town Council have worked hard with English Heritage to raise the profile of the amphitheatre and enhance the visitor experience.

"It is a wonderful and unique site.

"Having fires in the middle is dangerous, ruins the visitor experience and more importantly damages the monument.”

Helen Allen of English Heritage added: “Cirencester Amphitheatre is a scheduled ancient monument.

"Lighting fires can cause irreparable damage to the archaeology beneath the topsoil, and expose fragile deposits.”

Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call police on 101 quoting incident number 314 of July 1.

Alternatively information can be submitted by anonymously calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.