A COMMUNITY group has hit out at vandals and thieves who are targeting a Wearside park.
The Friends of Rectory Park, in Houghton, say yobs have attempted to take down guttering from the barn building.
They also say that a member of the public out walking their dog saw someone trying to unscrew recently-installed benches.
Edith Corney, treasurer of the group, said: “We’re all a bit upset by this.
“They have ripped the guttering down, I think because they thought it was cast iron.
“The benches as well, they are only reconstructed plastic.
“They aren’t really worth anything, so why would someone want to take them?”
“If someone hadn’t been walking past it could have been away.”
As reported in the Echo, the Friends group has been hard at work looking after the green space as part of the Love Where You Live campaign.
Having recently acquired the old warden’s office in the park, they spent weeks getting it up to standard so they can use it as a base for keeping the area clean and tidy.
They also recently received a big boost when a mystery benefactor handed over funds to the group, which was spent on gardening tools.
Despite the park being one of Wearside’s oldest, it is often a target for vandals.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Police received a report 11.35am on Monday, October 10, that a bench had been damaged in the park on The Broadway.
“At the same time it was also reported that guttering had been removed from a building in the park.”
Anyone who would like to donate towards the Friends’ work should contact Mrs Corney on 584 3629.