Mindless yobs have sparked outrage after they snapped three young cherry blossom trees in half at a popular little park.
The trees - which have just come into bloom - were targeted at Chorley’s Coronation Recreation Ground leaving folk saddened and disgusted.
They were left lying on the ground next to a path on the Devonshire Road park which is in the town centre.
Chorley Council has just invested £400,000 into the ‘rec’ to create two new play areas, a multi-use games area, fitness zone, kiosk and toilets.
Work got under way at the back end of last year - with the final phase providing more benches, the toilets and kiosk open in time for Easter.
The authority was awarded £30,000 from the Lancashire Environment Fund, which contributed to creating the first fully-inclusive toddler play area in the borough, at the park.
The damage was highlighted on the Chorley Then and Now public Facebook page.
Chris Bagot posted this picture with the words “Mindless - three young Cherry Trees wrecked”.
It attracted scores of comments from angry folk.
Sharon Hogan commented: “Absolutely disgusting!!”
Mick Woodfield said: “Mindless idiots !!”
Barbara Lynch added: “Absolutely heartbreaking.”
Other posts talked of a couple of ‘lads seen throwing stones on Monday night’; ‘rally racers riding road scooters round the Rec timing themselves’: ‘noisy kids trying to break stuff.’
Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said in December after refurbishment work on the rec had started: “We know that having first class areas where people can enjoy their leisure time and children can play is really important and Coronation Rec has been in need of modernisation.
“With it being just a short walk from the shopping areas it provides another reason for people to come and visit the town centre and spend more time here.
“The feedback we’ve had already has been really good and we hope it will continue to be well used.
“The improvements will make it one of the best play areas we’ve got in the borough with the toddler area the first fully inclusive play park in the borough.
“This means the park can be enjoyed by everyone and children with disabilities can take part in the same activities as their friends.
“People who visit the rec will see we are well on with the play area for older children, the multi-use games area and fitness zone meaning people of all ages can enjoy the park."
Mark Lester, Chorley Council’s Director of Business, Development and Growth, said of the damage: “It is absolutely shocking that someone would destroy three young cherry trees in Coronation Recreation Ground, off Devonshire Road and we would appeal to anyone who may have seen anything to contact the local police. These trees were only planted two years ago as part of improvements to the recreation ground and we are in the process of installing CCTV to deter vandals.”