ONE of the main forces behind the creation of a vandal-blighted community recreation area has called on the community to help protect it.

Hubberston Recreation Area was hit by vandals on the evening of April 23, with fencing damaged and graffiti left on equipment.

Julie Hawkins, who was instrumental in setting up the park with her husband Mark nearly two decades ago, posted on Facebook on April 23: “This is an utter disgrace we are not putting up with this; this is vandalism and we will not tolerate this anymore. Unless the culprits come forward the park will be closed from 8pm tonight until further notice.

“If anybody is caught within the boundary of the park once closed it will be placed in the hands of the police as it will be trespassing.”

Julie later told the Milford Mercury the cost of the vandalism would hit the park, developed from a fundraising campaign: “It’s disheartening, 18 years I’ve put in to that park.

“We set that park up 18 years ago when we set up the association, it was a lot of hard work finding the funding, and you can’t go back to the same people asking for money.

“I had a message last night [April 23] from a lady to say she had seen two boys get in and pick up a paint can and get in to the skate park.”

She added: “The gates are the main problem, somebody is actually cutting them; we’ve had to actually tie them up.

“It’s going to be one of those kids that goes through the hole and gets hurt; it’s been happening over several years, but the three gates are being targeted now, it’s always money, money to repair them, anything that has to be done we have to pay for, people don’t seem to grasp that.

“The park will re-open, obviously; I’m just pressing a point, it’s getting out of hand; it can’t continue.”

Julie appealed for the community to get involved in respecting the park.

“When there are adults up there, we would appreciate if they said something to the kids: ‘if you’re going to vandalise the park then get out’.

“I’ve never stopped anyone getting in there, but if this continues it’s going to be stopped.

“This is your park, it’s the only one like it in Pembrokeshire. If you’re going to use it, use it, but don’t disrespect it.”

Volunteers and supplies to repair the damage are being sought by Julie, see the Hubberston Recreation Area Facebook page.

An online Facebook fundraising campaign to raise funds for the park after the vandalism, Sarah's community fundraiser, has been set up by Sarah Lowe and Frank Hinley, with the hope of raising £2,000.