A South Ribble councillor has hit out at vandalism that has plagued a borough park’s poignant arts project.
Coun for Farington East, Paul Wharton, has spoke of his disgust at what he described as “heartless vandalism” in St Catherine’s Park where vandals have targeted the park’s art project, in particular the 250 handmade butterflies.
As a result the council has taken the decision to step in and remove what remains of the butterflies from the main area of the park to avoid further damage.
Coun Wharton, pictured, who is the council’s Member Champion for Streetscene and Neighbourhood Improvements, said: “It’s the second time this has happened so we had to do something.
“The butterflies are in memory of loved ones and people that have died. They’ve now been smashed up and destroyed. Shame on those who have done it.
“If anyone has any information please inform South Ribble Police on 101.”
The butterfly display was handcrafted by Lostock Hall Academy students and stretches from the grounds of St Catherine’s Hospice to the new South Ribble war memorial.
Stephen Greenhalgh, chief executive of St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “The beautiful clay butterflies created by local children mirrors the logo of St Catherine’s that is instantly recognisable to local people. Our butterfly signifies new life, and this delightful art trail through St Catherine’s Park is a shining example of young people making a difference by creating something to brighten all our lives.
“Many of the students who made this fabulous art trail have personal experience of loved ones being cared for by St Catherine’s which is why it was so disappointing to see some of them damaged. I can’t imagine that those who vandalised parts of the trail realised the heartfelt work that had gone into them.
"Hopefully one day they will understand and do their bit to make up for it. In the meantime, we express our deep thanks and appreciation to all involved in this extra special project.”
Coun Wharton explained that there is no intention to bring the display back to the park at the moment.
He added: “I do hope we will put something in place going forward. It’s an area of peace and quiet but things like this are just horrendous.
“The butterflies are on metal poles so we can’t just leave them lying about; it’s not safe.”