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Police search for Hartlepool country park vandals

The vandalised roundhouse.
The vandalised roundhouse.

Vandals have destroyed an Iron Age replica roundhouse at a country park.

They struck twice in less than a week at Summerhill Country Park and Visitor Centre, off Catcote Road, Hartlepool, leaving staff to take the "difficult decision" to demolish the wooden structure.

The roundhouse in use long before it was vandalised.

The roundhouse in use long before it was vandalised.

Police are now studying security camera footage of the incidents in a bid to identify the culprits.

The roundhouse, which has been situated at the site for 15 years, was first vandalised late last Saturday evening at around 7.30pm by five youths on bikes.

Staff and volunteers were forced to remove its roof attachments to ensure the structure was stable.

Then on Wednesday at around 9.30pm, three youths on bikes visited Summerhill via Summerhill Lane, destroyed the roundhouse entrance and posts securing the walls before snapping the woven walls.

Summerhill's Claire McDonald, said: “It is with heavy hearts that the team have made the difficult decision to demolish the roundhouse.

“The structure had been an integral part of Summerhill for almost 15 years and has served as an important educational tool for the children of Hartlepool.

"It is hoped that over the winter and spring, we can rebuild a bigger and better roundhouse for all of our visitors to enjoy.

“What is perhaps most sad to see is the time, hard work and dedication of our valued volunteers who worked together to build the roundhouse go to such unnecessary waste.”

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

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police directly by calling 101.