VANDALS have targeted a children's playground in a Test Valley village.

The group "ripped up the playground surface" next to Braishfield Village Hall, Braishfield Road, according to residents.

Now the playground has been closed off while the parish council repair the damage, which happened in the evening of July 27.

Sally Yalden, a resident in Braishfield, said: "It is mindless violence and the group of youths who did the damage were between eight and 12-years-old.

"They were also swearing at the Brownie leader who went out that night to tell them to stop what they are doing.

"It was so shocking because this kind of thing has not happened here before in Braishfield and it is unheard of."

She added: "The playground is next door to the village hall where the Brownies were having a sleepover and the morning after they discovered the damage.

"We also get a lot of visitors to the Braishfield Village Pantry Shop and Cafe who use the play area so it is such a shame it has happened at the start of the summer holidays."

Another resident said they were "speechless" after hearing the playground was targeted, while one resident added the damage was "terrible" and "pointless".

Cllr Martin Hatley, who represents Ampfield and Braishfield on the borough council, said: "It's outrageous and I only wish that the young people who caused this damage realise the money that has to be spent on repairing the playground takes away opportunities to provide facilities for other young people.

"It is a selfish act and because the land belongs to the parish council it is an unnecessary expense. It also impact the residents who have to pay more for their parish rates."

A spokesperson from Hampshire police said: "Anyone with information about this incident should call 101 quoting 44190266223."

Braishfield Parish Council has been contacted for comment.