STAFF have spoken of the “bitterly disappointing and frustrating” vandalism at substations which were set to be part of a “makeover” plan.

Electricity North West had chosen two stations in Bolton to be part of a new project but both sites were left damaged, with plants pulled up and freshly laid soil removed and scattered around the area.

The Transforming our Spaces project targeted power points in Carnation Road, Farnworth, and Selkirk Road, Smithills, which were set to be decorated with bird feeders, flowers and features to attract insects and birds.

But the Selkirk Road site had freshly-laid soil removed around a week after it was first deposited while the Carnation Road station had plants ripped out of their beds just as the first shoots were beginning to sprout.

Angie Thornton, delivery manager at Electricity North West, who is heading up the project, said: “The Transforming our Spaces project was created to revamp substations throughout the North West that needed a makeover.

“We specially selected substations that were part of a community and to learn that both the Carnation Road and Selkirk Road sites have been vandalised, just weeks after work commenced, is bitterly disappointing and frustrating.

“Several hundred pounds worth of damage has been caused as soil has been stolen and the newly laid seeds destroyed and trampled over.

“Working in conjunction with Bolton at Home, we made the decision to select both sites due to years of vandalism and fly tipping.”

After finding the damage at Carnation Road, staff set up wooden barriers to stop people trampling the remaining soil but these were ripped up and snapped the following day.

Now, Ms Thornton says, they will try again to plant new seeds, although time is short as some of the plants will not be able to grow in the hotter summer months.

“We won’t be deterred and we’re going to work hard and continue the projects,” she said.

“Time is of the essence and it’s essential the work is completed quickly to capitalise on the weather so that the flowers will grow and the community will benefit from these improved sites.”

Following the incidents, the vandalism was reported to the police and residents living near the two substations have been asked to report any future damage or vandals spotted near the sites.

To make reports to the police, call 101 or use the Live Chat feature on

Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.