A volunteer group in Penge is deeply saddened after repeated vandalism of the gardens they maintain.

The Penge Green Gym has looked after Winsford Gardens, off Croydon Road, for the past few years.

But over the last two weeks they have been dismayed to discover a trail of destruction in what they have branded ‘mindless vandalism’.

Since looking after the gardens, which has involved local community groups, they have installed a fence and added an area for children.

Volunteer Lesley Wright, 65, says to their horror their sturdy fence with concrete foundations has been ripped down, the windows in their greenhouse smashed and the wooden logs in the children’s area uprooted.

The Croydon Road resident said: "This is a serious fence; It took us a few weeks to put up.

"We think they must have taken the logs and used them to smash the fence.

"We’ve had vandalism in the past but this is by far the worst.

"They didn’t even really take anything; it’s just mindless, pointless vandalism."

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The logs were made from willow and Ms Wright explained that these must be in the ground at all times or will die.

She added: "We will have to wait until next year now as they’re totally ruined.

"We will redo it but we’re thinking what’s the point if it’s just going to be destroyed again.

"We’ve put so much hard work into this; we were preparing for our open day in June and everything was just starting to bloom.

"We’re so disheartened, we grow everything from scratch.

"This is all for the community, we’ve won awards previously."

Previously she said pots have been smashed, lawn mowers stolen and other damage caused.

The group, numbering around 20, won first place in the Penge In Bloom awards last year for most economical and friendly community garden.

A spokesman for the Met Police said: "Police are investigating an allegation of criminal damage to a wooden fence and greenhouse in Winsford Gardens, Garden Road SE20.

"Anyone with any information should contact Bromley police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111."