Park custodians left 'shock and disappointed' after vandals leave behind a trail of destruction

Some of the broken bottles and cans found at Summerhill.

Some of the broken bottles and cans found at Summerhill.

A popular park has been left littered and damaged by smoke bombs and smashed glass after vandals struck once again.

Staff at Summerhill Country Park and Visitor Centre have spoken of their ‘shock and disappointment’ after an area of the popular site was vandalised.

A number of trees in an area that is often used for forest school sessions were vandalised to make a den and there was also evidence of a homemade fire pit.

Seven bags of rubbish were collected from the area, including broken glass and smoke bombs.

However, until the area is fully dug over it cannot be used.

The vandalism comes just weeks after a large foam mattress was found dumped in one of Summehill’s wildlife ponds, killing several fish and tadpoles.

The site, which is run by Hartlepool Borough Council, is a 100-acre site off Catcote Road offering a number of play and leisure facilities.

Adam Reah, a member of the team which manages the park and centre, said: “It is so disappointing that the selfish actions of a few people can spoil the enjoyment of Summerhill for others.

“This is the second time in recent weeks that people have damaged the natural environment like this, something we work really hard to maintain and ensure we are able to provide a beautiful space for local people to enjoy.

“We are so disappointed by the vandalism, but I must stress that the vast majority of people visiting Summerhill respect the site.

“Summerhill is a unique country park that’s both a local nature reserve and an outdoor activity centre and there is nothing we prefer more than seeing people using the site in a safe and responsible manner.”