NEW riverside defences installed along the River Lune in Kirkby Lonsdale were stolen just three days after completion of the project.
The timber wall, part of improvement of the path, was put in place by Cumbria County Council contractors and finished on January 28.
By January 31, the wooden planking and poles used to prevent the bank from erosion had been stolen.
Town counc Nick Cotton said: “It is very disappointing and frustrating that such a vital piece of flood defence should have been stolen, leaving the bank exposed to erosion when the river is in spate.
"We have worked hard to raise the money for this work and this is a real setback for us and all the people who use the path.”