Youths and vandals blight new-look park

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Vandalism and antisocial behaviour has been reported in Berwick’s newly made-over Castle Vale Park.

A £1 million renovation of the Castle Vale and Coronation Parks was unveiled earlier this month, to the delight of locals and visitors alike.

Dutchess of Northumberland formally opens the Berwick Parks project which has seen the redevelopment of Castle Vale and Coronation Park

Dutchess of Northumberland formally opens the Berwick Parks project which has seen the redevelopment of Castle Vale and Coronation Park

But just days after an official opening by the Duchess of Northumberland, residents say incidents of vandalism and antisocial behaviour have blighted one of the new-look parks.

On August 5, less than a week after the Duchess cut ribbons in both parks, Jennifer Mclean reported on residents forum Berwick Deserves Better that a sign post had been tampered with.

“Vandals have been in our beautiful Castle Vale Park already,” she wrote.

“It looks like they might have been trying to steal a wooden signpost but not able to finish the task. Either that or it was just pure wanton vandalism.”

The sign was later righted by young parks volunteer Liam Graham.

Antisocial behaviour has also been reported in Castle Vale Park, with young people on bikes allegedly riding rough shod over new plants.

Christine Tate of Askew Crescent, Tweedmouth, had a recent visit to the park with her sister spoiled, when she was deliberately “antagonised” by a group of young people using the area as a “cycling circuit”.

In a letter to the Advertiser, Ms Tate said: “We were sitting admiring the beautiful views and the great work that has been done to make it a place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

“While doing just that our peace was ruined when a couple of juveniles on bikes entered the park from the Tweed Street entrance, racing down the stairs then abusing the grass by cycling up it.

“I politely informed them the park had not been renovated for use as a cycling circuit.

“In very quick time we were surrounded by as many as eight or nine [young people], some on cycles, others on scooters, deliberately riding on gravel and newly laid plants to antagonise us, giving us verbal abuse and continuing riding down the stairs at great speed and again up the grass.” She added: “Perhaps erecting signs prohibiting cycling would help. Not only is it destruction to the park, it is a danger to elderly people being knocked down.”

Berwick neighbourhood sergeant Steve Crane said: “The Berwick Parks Project has provided two great facilities for the community.

“We’re committed to making sure they remain safe and enjoyable places for people to visit and will carry out extra patrols in the parks throughout the summer months, both to deter any further damage and to reassure those using the park.

“Enquiries will be carried out to identify those responsible for those causing damage and appropriate action taken to stop this type of behaviour.”

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