'Heartbroken' - Shock after village play area ‘trashed’ by graffiti vandals
- Credit: ARCHANT
Residents of a quiet north Norfolk village have spoken of their shock after their local park was found covered in graffiti.
Oakes Playing Field, in Cawston, between Reepham and Aylsham, is a popular park usually enjoyed by families and young people.
And although it has endured some minor anti-social behaviour issues in the past, such as broken glass being left, the scale of the most recent damage has been described as “heartbreaking”.
One resident, who has lived in the village for almost a decade but did not want to be named, said: “I was only just here with my kids playing a few days ago.
“It’s a lovely park and I cannot understand why anyone would do this. I’m heartbroken. I actually felt like crying when I saw the damage. It's been absolutely trashed.
“Until it is removed, I won’t be able to bring my young children here, especially as there are some offensive words written.
“Ironically, there has been a sign left on one of the gates letting the owner of a lost skateboard know where they can collect it from.
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"That is the type of friendly community we live in here - not one plagued by vandals.”
The playing field is located behind the village hall, off Aylsham Road, and was originally installed on land gifted by the Oakes family in 1998 with donations and grants.
It is home to two play areas, one for older children and another for younger ones.
The area for older children was victim to the spray-paint attack and currently covers the skate ramps, climbing wall, signs, and shelter.
Although it is currently unknown when the damage was done, it was first noticed on the morning of Saturday, June 12, and is believed to have happened overnight.
There have also been a number of other areas in the village where graffiti has been left, including in a walkway between Stocks Loke and Chapel Street, near the bus stop on Chapel Street, and at the entrance of Paul Engelhard Way, close to the park.
It is not yet known if the incidents are related.
Plans are currently underway to create a working group to get rid of the graffiti and a Go Fund Me page has been set up.