Fleetwood residents’ anger at vandalism on Memorial Park

Vandals have damaged trees at the newly restored Memorial Park in Fleetwood.

Vandals have damaged trees at the newly restored Memorial Park in Fleetwood.

  • £2.4m restoration project is still ongoing at Fleetwood’s Memorial Park
  • Trees planted to honour Fleetwood’s war heroes damaged by vandals
  • Residents urged to be vigilant and report damage to police
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Trees planted in honour of Fleetwood’s war heroes have been targeted by vandals “running amok” in the port’s Memorial Park.

Residents are now being urged to be vigilant and report damage to police after a series of incidents threatened to undermine the ongoing £2.4m restoration project at the park.

Michelle Hargreaves

Michelle Hargreaves

The five trees targeted in recent days include one planted right at the entrance, on Remembrance Avenue, as a mark of respect to Fleetwood’s war veterans.

The tree has been snapped in half, sparking anger among the residents who worked hard to secure the funding to restore the park.

Michelle Hargreaves, of Friends of Memorial Park, said: “The trees are exactly as you walk in to the park, commemorating the loss of life in the wars.

“A lot of community support has gone into that and these people have just run amok.

Since 2010 not one of the trees has been damaged and suddenly, over the last two weeks, this has happened.

Michelle Hargreaves

“Since 2010 not one of the trees has been damaged and suddenly, over the last two weeks, this has happened.

“I think it’s a game to them but it’s not funny.”

Wyre Council’s work to restore the park began last year after it secured £2.4m in funding from the Heritage and Big Lottery Funds, with help from the Friends of Memorial Park.

Coun Ruth Duffy, who represents Mount ward on the council, said: “The majority of people, kids included, who go in the park use it responsibly.

“It’s a minority that ruin it for the others and it’s a crying shame.

“With all the work that has gone in and the money that has been spent, to get idiots come along and do that is so sad to see.”

She praised the work of the Friends of Memorial Park for helping to secure the money to restore the area.

She added: “THey are not councillors, they are normal residents who give up their time to put something back into the community.

“Hopefully it doesn’t deter them and residents will keep their eyes open.”

Ms Hargreaves said she had been told children were seen in the area carrying part of one of the trees.

She added: “I just don’t understand it. There has never been more investment in what kids can do round here.”

Elsewhere, public money has gone towards improving the seafront – including building a skate park for the port’s youngsters.

“It’s not just about the money,” she added. “It’s the detrimental effect on people.

“The other day I saw two kids throwing bricks around in the park.

“I asked what they were doing and tried to explain to them – they just said ‘we don’t care’.”

Ms Hargreaves urged anyone in the area to keep an eye out and report any vandalism to the police.

She said she has made police aware of the situation but the officers contacted by the Weekly News were unaware of the vandalism.