Vandals burn down picnic bench at country parkPublished Monday, 5th November 2018
Staff at Summerhill Country Park and Visitor Centre are appealing for information after vandals destroyed a picnic bench specially installed for wheelchair users.
The bench was set alight at approximately 9.45pm on Sunday evening (4 November). It is believed an accelerant was used as the benches were fire-resistant.
A nearby hedgerow was also damaged during the fire, which was originally planted by members of the local community following a donation from Woodland Trust funding. The bench was situated near the pond at Summerhill which is home to many different species’ of animals.
Police are aware and are treating the incident as criminal damage, but staff at Summerhill are urging members of the public to come forward with any additional information they may have that could aid investigation.
“We will be working to replace the bench so as not to negatively impact on the experience of wheelchair users that enjoy visiting our site, although sadly this will be a large financial commitment at the detriment of other much-needed resources.
“What is perhaps most sad to see is the time, hard work and dedication of our valued volunteers who worked together to make the area so peaceful and welcoming go to unnecessary waste.”
Members of the public with any information are asked to contact the police directly by calling 101, quoting crime number ‘CVP-18-203854’.
Summerhill Country Park and Visitor Centre, which is run by Hartlepool Borough Council, is a 100-acre site off Catcote Road offering a number of play and leisure facilities.