Vandals wreck new park on city estate

The newly opened play area in Ryelands Park, which has already been vandalised.
The newly opened play area in Ryelands Park, which has already been vandalised.

A brand new play area in Ryelands Park has been vandalised just days after it opened to the public.

Lancaster City Council said that the vandalism was an insult to the people who had worked so hard to get the project off the ground.

Over the weekend, vandals have pulled up and thrown around turf and damaged rubber matting on the park which was created with access for all ages and abilities in mind.

The park was made possible through a grant of £44,320 from Unitied Utilities to local charity Groundwork, which attracted further funding from other organisations.

One parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “The new playpark has been open only one day and already turf has been pulled up and thrown around, litter chucked in the sandpit, and the rubber covering on the turf ripped up.

“The worst thing was seeing three boys digging out stones, rocks and bricks then throwing them from the new bridge into the sandpit.

“Then they were burying them along with sharp sticks in the sand.

“I brought my daughter away knowing it is unlikely she will be able to go and play there again.

“It is an absolute disgrace.”

Paul Cocker, grounds maintenance and cleansing manager, said: “Lancaster City Council is appalled by this mindless act of vandalism.

“The play area has only just been installed and is a tremendous local asset.

“It’s a great shame that a minority get a thrill out of ruining it for everyone else and an insult to the hard work and dedication of those who have worked so tirelessly to secure the funding to make this much-needed play area a reality.

“The city council will be repairing the play area next week and is appealing for anyone with any information on who is responsible to get in touch with the police.”