DISTRAUGHT community fundraisers in Forest Green were close to tears after the play area they spent months renovating was trashed by rampaging yobs.

Residents were horrified to find the play area in Bunting Way had been littered with burned paper, plastic bottles and sweet wrappers in an orgy of vandalism on Monday night.

"I was absolutely disgusted," said Forest Green resident Teresa Mauler.

"When I came down to see it this morning I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I could have cried.

"This community has done its best for this place and this is how they repay us."

Rocks and bits of wood were also strewn around what appeared to be an attempt to build a bike ramp on the flat playing area - a favourite spot for children's ball games.

"This is not careless littering - this is trashing an area," said former Nailsworth mayor Lesley Williams-Allen.

"I am livid. It is time the police realised that a few people are causing this havoc."

The children's playground was only recently given a new lease of life after the Forest Green Residents' Association secured £8,000 in grants after eight months of hard work.

Association vice-chairman Margaret Marshall said: "We get children playing wonderful games of cricket and football up here but it is the bigger ones who did this.

"I just do not know what their aim is in life."

Residents called for more police presence in the area to deter the yobs. A police spokesman was unavailable as the SNJ went to press.

In recent weeks the SNJ has reported on a spate of yobbish behaviour in Victory Park in Cainscross and a den in nearby Hamwell Leaze that has become choked with rubbish.

* Forest Green Residents' Association is holding its next fundraiser on Saturday, August 20 with a table-top sale and barbecue on Lawnside. The sale starts at 3pm, with the barbecue beginning at 5pm.