Police hunt for Horsham beauty spot vandals

Damage at Southwater Country Park SUS-190909-114136001
Damage at Southwater Country Park SUS-190909-114136001

A hunt has been launched for vandals who caused ‘substantial damage’ at a beauty spot near Horsham.

The vandals damaged a door of a cafe at Southwater Country Park, spray-painted an ice cream van and daubed graffiti on a charity-fundraising street piano made by local schoolchildren.

Horsham District Council, which runs the park, and Sussex Police have launched an investigation and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Meanwhile,Rachel Nunns, headteacher at Castlewood Primary School in Southwater - whose pupils made the street piano to help raise funds for the children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House - has spoken of her sadness at the vandalism.

“We are saddened and disappointed by the disrespect shown to the effort and designs that the children had put into the piano,” she said.

“However, we are very grateful to members of our community and parents who are very willing to repair it and work with the children to return it to its original state.”

A spokeswoman for Horsham District Council added: “After a lovely summer when hundreds of families have enjoyed the many facilities at Southwater Country Park, it is extremely disappointing to now witness the substantial damage that has been caused at the park.

“The council is working in conjunction with Sussex Police in an investigation to find the culprits with the help of CCTV footage.

“We are in the process of assessing the damage caused and calculating the cost of repairs.”

Police say that the watersports centre was targeted between 6.30pm on Monday September 2 and 8am the following day.

A spokesman said: “The window of the van was forced open and further damage caused inside. The door of the cafe was damaged along with metal benches outside.

“Anyone with information about the incident is asked to report online or call 101 quoting serial 332 of 03/09.”