Vandals wreck rose garden

Friends of Rectory Park in Houghton, Sheila and John Ellis and Norman Moss are upset after youths have destroyed a trellis and plants in the park causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage.
Friends of Rectory Park in Houghton, Sheila and John Ellis and Norman Moss are upset after youths have destroyed a trellis and plants in the park causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage.
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VANDALS have smashed up a park’s rose garden.

Months of hard work has been destroyed by the yobs, who ripped apart a trellis which cost £200.

Now, Friends of Rectory Park in Houghton say they are fed up with the repeated attacks which are destroying the efforts of volunteers.

Sheila Ellis, chairwoman of the organisation, said: “Planters have been damaged and the rose and clematis trellis destroyed together with plants.

“The Friends of Rectory Park built and planted the new trellis six months ago. They used £200 of their own money to make sure it would look as nice as possible.”

But according to Sheila, this week’s vandalism is just the latest in a long line of problems.

She added: “Substantial damage has been done over the last few days by youths who are out of control on bikes and motorbikes in central Houghton. It’s heartbreaking for the members who have been working so hard to restore the park to its former glory and we are appealing to any member of the public who sees damage being done to report it to the police.

“It’s ironic that the police station is next door to the Rectory Field and Park. Many hundreds of pounds of damage is being done on a regular basis, and this comes out of taxpayers’ pockets as well as funds raised by the Friends.

“We would say to the residents – please help to protect your local environment and your park. It is one of the oldest gardens in Britain, dating from the 12th century. If we don’t look after it, we will lose it.”

In 2011, the Echo reported how yobs tried to take down guttering from a barn in the park and damaged benches.