Park yobs are not playing fair

A bench donated to the park was smashed up.
A bench donated to the park was smashed up.
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Anger is mounting after vandals trashed a beautiful Morecambe park in the worst case of vandalism ever seen.

Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused during the latest and worst in a long line of wrecking sprees at Happy Mount Park. Volunteers who spend hours tending to the much-loved Bare village park are at the end of their tether and visitors have reacted with fury.

During their rampage, yobs destroyed a bug den to help children learn about insects which had taken four months to create. They also:

lTrashed a bench donated to the park

*Ripped down an archway

*Tore up nature signs cemented into the ground

*Damaged fence panels

*Threw fence panels and metal railings into ponds

*Left empty beer cans and litter strewn across the park

*Damaged picnic benches

*Set a fire in the compost area

Simon Lewis, chairman of Happy Mount Park: “On this occasion it is extremely bad, they have destroyed the work we have done.

“It will take four to six months to put the bug den right.

“Some of the volunteers have said ‘We won’t be defeated’ and others have said ‘I just feel like packing it in because it seems pointless.’”

Sharon Pearce, commenting on the Happy Mount Park Facebook group, said: “Soul destroying that people treat public property like this.”

Jean Benson described the vandalism as “mindless destruction by scumbags” while Christine Shawcroft Careless said it was “disgusting behaviour”.

In recent years, Happy Mount Park has been a regular target for vandals.

The worst incidents have included the theft of poppies planted as part of a campaign to remember fallen World War One soldiers and 20 attacks in two years on a bike-powered waterfall feature which has now had to be armour plated to protect it from further vandalism.

The gates to the park are currently locked at night-time.

Installing CCTV cameras has been talked about but Simon Lewis said: “There is a lot more red tape involved than just money.

“We had signs up saying CCTV was installed, and the vandals damaged something next to the sign, completely ignoring it.”

The park is owned by Lancaster City Council.

Coun David Smith, Cabinet member with responsibility for parks, said: “It’s a great shame that a minority get a thrill out of apparently random and pointless acts of vandalism.

“It is an insult to the hard work and dedication of those who have worked so tirelessly over the last few years to make significant improvements to the park.”

Police said they had received a report of criminal damage to fence panels and a bench in Happy Mount Park between 9pm on May 26 and 8pm on May 27. A spokesman said it was an ongoing issue and they were trying to target it.

If anyone knows anything about the vandalism, please call police on 101.