STAFF at Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre in Blairhall were left “absolutely horrified” after learning that vandals had once again targeted the centre.

A walker discovered that signs from the sensory park had been damaged and later dumped in High Valleyfield woods.

This is not the first time objects from the centre have either been damaged or stolen, as other pieces of outdoor furniture decorated by kids had also been targeted in the past month.

The centre was opened in 1996 and offers children, young people and adults with learning difficulties and physical difficulties the chance to learn to horse-ride, allowing them to build their movement and motor skills.

Lesley Furnell, chairperson, told the Press she now fears putting objects outside in case anything else is taken.

She said: “The signs were carved and handmade by the husband of one of our volunteers. They acted as markers of routes around the park.

“It took him ages to make and the kids all loved them. He was devastated and the children were all upset as you can imagine.

“We’ve had various incidents of damage in the past month, and it puts us off investing time in other ideas if they’re just going to be destroyed again.”

Lesley fears the problem may have started after telling youngsters on quad bikes in the woods that they weren’t allowed to ride them there.

She added: “They know they’re not allowed to be there. The noise from the quad bikes startles the horses, and when we tell them off and try to take pictures of them to report them, they rev up even more.

“Maybe damaging our property is their way of getting back at us? I don’t know. I feel that if they knew what they were actually damaging, and knew how much they were hurting the kids here, they wouldn’t do it.

“We don’t want this to end in a fight. That’s the last thing we want to happen.”

Staff will now meet with police to discuss the issue as they look to tighten security around their five-acre sensory park.

Members of the public are urged to report any suspicious activity near the centre to Crimestoppers on 101, or the centre itself via email at: