'MINDLESS' vandals have ripped out new trees in a Dunfermline play park just days after they were planted by groups of school children.

Groups from Pitreavie and St Leonard's Primaries and Dunfermline High School dug deep and planted an array of trees at St Leonards Playing Fields and Park last Thursday.

The event was run in partnership with the Brucefield Tenants and Residents Association and the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.

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Kathleen Langner, who is secretary of the Tenants and Residents Association, said they were "devastated" to see a large amount of trees had already been damaged.

"There were a lot of saplings, a few larger Birch trees and some Oak trees. There were quite a lot of things going on," she said. "The kids were really enthusiastic and they were looking forward to coming back to see the trees.

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"Within 48 hours, someone had come and pulled out some of the saplings. The community is really devastated by it all.

"It is really sad. We are trying to do a lot, trying to do a lot of different things and different projects and are looking to do more.

"We have big plans for the park – if we get everything we want, it would cost over £1m. This mindless vandalism is going to make it more difficult to get funders interested in doing something for the community."

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It is hoped future work will include new lighting, pathways, drainage and a new play area.

"There isn't a lot for the kids to do around here so they are going and causing mischief," said Kathleen. "We were hoping by giving them some more facilities, it might reduce some of the mischief making.

"It is the hope to involve the kids to they take pride in what is happening. A lot of the kids did and it has all been vandalised.

"I was there all day on Thursday and the joy on the kids' faces made it all worthwhile. It is about these kids who have invested their time and were excited about the future of the project.

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"It is frustrating but we cannot penalise everyone for the actions of a couple of kids. There are so many kids that are interested so that makes it worthwhile to keep at it.

"We have been talking about it for a long time. There is a lot of work going on in the background. Hopefully next year, we will see some big changes in the park."

Another community tree planting session was already scheduled for this Saturday and this will go ahead despite the vandalism.

Taking place between 1pm and 3pm, booking is advised and further details are available on the Brucefield Tenants and Residents Association's Facebook page.