A volunteer enivronment group has contacted police after suffering a spate of vandalism that has been described as having a “soul destroying effect” on members.
Churwell Environmental Volunteers say that after a pond area was trashed by a small party of teenagers, birdfeeders donated by members of the public for Daffil Woods have now gone missing.
Steve Hunter, a member of the group which works at the Westwood Side woodland, said: “It is dispiriting for us when these things happen. We have around 15 pensioners that volunteer for us and things like this are soul destroying for them because they understandably think ‘Why do we bother?’”
The offenders are believed to be a group of boys aged around 14. However, volunteers fear it may be as late as September when the school terms starts again before they can be properly identified.
Mr Hunter said: “There’s two or three kids that are causing us grief at the moment. We have photos of them, their Christian names, their school and where they live, but because the school term has finished it’s difficult for the police to identify them.”
But the group paid tribute to its younger members.
Six students have been working with them during the summer holidays, most of whom are gaining experience towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Mr Hunter said: “It is brilliant that we have so many youngsters helping out after so many negatives recently. The group is going from strength to strength with 15 to20 volunteers turning up each week.”