A disheartened parkie has expressed deep disappointment after a gang of youths targeted a new disability-friendly swing in a mindless act of vandalism last weekend.

The troublesome teens had to be stopped by staff at Swanley Park after they were spotted "hacking" and "beating" the £30,000 play area with "anything they could get their hands on" last Friday, April 12.

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Swanley Park staff 'swung' into action to stop vandals attacking new equipment. Left: Barney Simmons, Centre: Ryan Hayman; Right: Charlie Lambert

"Luckily the equipment itself is pretty much bulletproof but I think that's why they did it, it almost poses a challenge for them," said park director Ryan Hayman, who also suffered verbal abuse as he tried to stop the gang doing any more damage.

Mr Hayman, who manages operations at the popular outdoor attraction, told News Shopper that instances of vandalism and anti-social behaviour at Swanley Park has been an ongoing problem over the past few months with youths targeting valuable set-ups and equipment as part of their antics.

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Back in December, The Great Outdoors play area within the park was also left damaged and dishevelled after a different group set upon it.

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"We do typically have vandalism issues in the park but there’s no excuse for it," said Mr Hayman.

"The Great Outdoors group have mock stations set up with miniature huts and kitchens and such.

"One morning we went over and saw that the sheds were kicked in and flipped over.

"All the equipment was strewn across the grass as well," he continued.

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Speaking on the senseless acts, Mr Hayman explained that there is a slight concern that it may deter those looking to use the new play areas after a post showing the damage was shared on the park's Facebook page.

"This probably wouldn’t deter us from anything but obviously we’d be mindful.

"We're trying to be inclusive and if we didn’t have to worry about this we could do such more," he said.

Going forward, he hopes to continue creating more inclusive spaces within Swanley Park and wishes for those visiting to respect the publicly available equipment.

"We would just like that parents and children are respectful of their surroundings.

"The park is for all and everyone should be mindful of that," he said.