A RECENTLY refurbished Abingdon play area had to be closed during half-term after vandals struck for the second time in a week.

Disappointed children were turned away from the £320,000 Abbey Meadow Play Park on Wednesday after part of the climbing frame was broken.

It came after a red tunnel for youngsters at the site was destroyed on Sunday in a suspected arson attack.

Firefighters were called at about 7.15pm and the burnt out remains are still cordoned off.

The play area was given a makeover in June and is now home to a Grand Abbey climbing area, an ‘Abingdon Lock’ river scene, a sensory garden, and space for ball games.

Naomi Richardson, from Abbey Meadow Consultation Group, visited the play area on Wednesday and said it looked like a panel had been pushed out of the climbing frame and the resulting hole had been boarded up.

She added: "The problem is the area is not overlooked by anything and is quite vulnerable."

Gavin Walton, spokesman for Vale of White Horse District Council, which funded the revamp, confirmed the play area had been closed for urgent repairs following damage on Tuesday night to the large climbing equipment and had reopened later the same day.

He added: "Unfortunately, this was the second time this week that vandals have caused damage to the site."

Matthew Barber, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Abbey Meadow Play Park is a wonderful facility that’s incredibly popular with families across the Vale community.

"Like everyone else who hears about this news I am disgusted that a few individuals have chosen to damage a public facility in this way. We urge anyone who may know who caused this vandalism to speak to the police or contact to our community safety team. Those responsible should be held to account for their actions."