doc

GARDENERS say they will not let vandals deter them from their hard work at a Bolton park.

The Friends of Moss Bank Park group was shocked to discover vandals had struck once again at the walled garden in Moss Bank Park.

On Tuesday morning, they arrived to discover a heavy cube of recycled stone, topped with an urn and bearing a weeping plant, had been tipped over.

The urn, situated in the paved circle in the centre of the garden, was cracked and they also discovered waterlilies had been stolen from the Rock Garden Pond.

David Butcher, aged 72, of Moss Lane, Smithills, said: “This is not the first time that villains have attacked the park but the friends are still adamant that they will not be discouraged and will continue their work in helping to look after the park.

“In fact, after their initial outrage on discovering the vandalism, the consensus was that they will redouble their efforts to keep improving the gardens."

In 2010, with the help of a Heritage Lottery grant, the group began its work to restore the garden to its former glory after it was closed for more than 10 years because it had become overgrown and a target for vandals.

Earlier this year, the friends group appeared on the BBC Two programme, The Great British Garden Revival, to show the progress they have made in restoring the rock garden.

Last July thieves stole a tree and plants from the park, including one planted in memory of community volunteer Fred Greenhalgh, aged 83, who died in 2011.

Earlier this year, roses were stolen from the rock garden.

The recent incident, believed to have happened on Sunday night, has been reported to police.