As readers of the Warley Woods Leaflet will know in each edition I write a piece as chair of the board of trustees. In many of the editions I have had to refer to problems of criminals damaging our precious park.
Whilst we have dealt with the damage, we have relied on the goodwill of people in the community to help put things right. The fountain is a good example, where we now have cedar shingles instead of tiles that were repeatedly damaged. This also comes at the time when we have just been awarded the Green Flag again for the fifth year running. Its almost like this has been done to spite us for that award.
Most of the time we are able to make repairs without having to ask for help, but at times it is difficult, and this is one of those times. The cost of just one night of damage is nearly £5,000. The Trust is already trying to recover from the impact of the bad weather last summer and through the winter on the budget. What's worse is that families have sponsored the benches that have been destroyed in memory of loved ones. The criminals have attacked them as well.
I really appreciate all of the comments made on the blog and elsewhere, and the offers of help. We mustn't let these criminals grind us down. What will help is for us all to be vigilant against future attacks. This was not an act by bored kids. Whoever did this came with tools to do the job. The benches are high quality park grade that take some beating and they are strapped into the ground. You cannot simply pick one up and take it away let alone set fire to it. Did anyone see anything? People with the sort of tools for cutting through metal? Someone will know who these criminals are. The police would like to know.
Cllr Steve Eling – Chair, Warley Woods Community Trust