Vandals have trashed a special gardening project set up as therapy for military veterans.
Intruders smashed their way into the site run by the charity Dig In North West at Ashton Park, Preston and wrecked fencing, ransacked a greenhouse and stole a tool shed.
The attack has sickened staff and volunteers, some of whom have emotional problems as a result of their service in the forces.
“The impact this will have on their wellbeing will be immense,” said founder Donna Rowe-Green. “They are all distraught, as I am. This safe place they have created has been violated.”
The raid happened during Thursday night. The intruders kicked their way through a fence and ran amok in the gardens and yard.
One of the veterans, Nigel Green, who set up Dig In with Donna, said: “They have just gone berserk. They emptied the shed of gardening tools and just took the shed. They must have had a vehicle because even though it is only six by four, it would still have been very heavy to carry.
“To me they are just scum. The effect on the lads here has not been good. They are knuckling down and clearing up the mess, but it’s bound to have taken its toll on them.”
The project was founded in 2012 to help forces veterans recover from conditions like post traumatic stress disorder.
Donna said: “Our guys are recovering from conditions caused by service in war zones and this is their safe place to come to. Until now it has not been damaged. But this is just down and out vandalism and theft.
“The shed was one which they were given after they did a display at last year’s RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park. It’s light blue, so it’s pretty distinctive. If anyone has any information about who did this can they please contact the police.”