Somewhere between fifty and sixty teenagers gathered in the park, under the Lone Oak, yesterday evening, to celebrate somebody’s fifteenth birthday. It’s hard to imagine how such an event could not have ended badly.

The police were in touch with us very soon with a message from PC Sam Withey:

I’m sorry to report there has been further vandalism at the country park this evening.  The large oak that is fenced off was the place where around 40-60 youths decided to congregate and have a party this evening.  I had patrolled the area earlier and all was well, but around an hour later we had the call to say the party was in full swing.  On our arrival the youths scattered leaving behind a load of rubbish and several broken posts and a gate that surround the oak.

This morning, we have picked up the litter (along with the evidence of underage drinking) and disposed of it. But the extensive damage to the fence around the Lone Oak is a different matter; it was quite clearly done deliberately and with considerable force. This is the third time the fence has been broken and this time the repairs will include the cost of not just new railings but also new hardware for the gate which has been wrenched clean off its hinges.

The park is not an appropriate place for a teenager’s unsupervised birthday party, and if this one was held with the knowledge and/or permission of anybody’s guardian or parent, the County, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy as it is, will probably be looking for reparations.

If anybody knows that their child was involved in this misadventure, and would like to discreetly contribute said child’s weeky allowance to the cost of mending the damaged fences, FoSCP’s and the Countryside Team’s contact details are on the main menu.

We would also like to thank the many people who reported this event, with pictures and videos, to us and to the police. It’s reassuring to know that the park has so many supporters, so concerned for its welfare.


12 thoughts on “

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody put their hand up and said “That was my kids; how much do I owe you?”

    1. I expect some innocent parent thought of a dozen well-behaved children sitting under a tree drinking Coke and eating crisps. What could possibly go wrong?

  2. Hi. Is there a fund for the country park that people can donate to so some of cost can be absorbed by the people that love the park. I know we shouldn’t have to pay for the repairs from mindless vandalism but I love this park so I’d like to help.

    1. There isn’t but perhaps there should be. I will ask the Countryside Team (because Wiltshire Council own the park) if such a thing could be set up, Thanks for the suggestion and for your offer to help.

  3. Perhaps the parents didnt know ? And they may be horrified just as much as we all ar

    1. If they hadn’t broken the fence and had picked up all their litter, there would have been no harm done. Sometimes teenagers are their own worst enemies

  4. If this was a 15th Birthday party, perhaps an indication of the age of those concerned. Could the police at least narrow down the year they attended at the local secondary school?

    1. Yes, they probably all came from the same year group in the same school. The Countryside Team are more concerned with tracking down the parents – the budget for the park is tiny and running out fast, and a contribution from parents and guardians would help with the repairs.

  5. I wonder if parents or guardians who let their children stay out at night without knowing where they are would be willing to make a contribution?

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