BROMSGROVE residents are devastated after play equipment at their recreation ground in Stoke Heath was destroyed and left dangerous.

The damage, which took place between Tuesday, August 5 and Wednesday, August 6 included cuts to climbing ropes, screws were taken out of the equipment and swings had been removed.

Stoke Heath Recreation Ground has now been closed by the parish council who used padlocks to secure the park, which is now unsafe to use.

Bromsgrove District Council is assisting Stoke Heath Parish Council to clear up the damage.

A district council spokesman said: “We can confirm that every piece of play equipment at the site has been damaged and we have recommended that the parish council close it until repairs have been made and parts have been replaced.

“We are meeting with the contractor and parish council this week to run through what this will look like and how long it will take.

“Our Place team has also been on site to support the clean-up operation.”

Residents’ claim travellers broke equipment using hammers and axes after they forced entry onto the site on Saturday, July 26 by breaking down a fence after they were evicted from Charford Recreation Ground.

Chairman of Stoke Parish Council John Ellis said: “Various residents have seen them causing damage to the play area. They are causing criminal damage by breaking down the fence to get into the grounds.”

“The police seem to have a softly, softly approach to these travellers and don’t seem to appreciate the cost to the local community in getting these travellers removed and repairing the damage they have caused.

“I would like to thank Bromsgrove District council for acting so quickly to cleaning and sanitising the recreation ground.”

The travellers were served an eviction order from the courts on Monday, August 4 at 11.15pm and they left the land on Tuesday, August 5 at 9pm.

The Parish Council are now considering new measures to stop future damage.

The 12-month-old playground stands on parish council owned land.

Police are unable to confirm the damage was caused by the travellers.

Anyone with information about the damage is asked to call police on non emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.