TEST Valley residents have hit out at a group of vandals after a playground was trashed.

The playground, at the end of Joe Bigwood Close, was targeted by hooligans who covered a slide in Coca-Cola, drew graffiti on the ground and ripped out small trees.

Now, a community leader is urging the public to contact the police to help track down the group.

It is believed the playground was damaged on Friday, September 18.

One man described the group as "pathetic and moronic", adding: "This behaviour makes me sad beyond words. My grandchildren and I have so much fun playing in this lovely little space.

"They meet all their friends there and enjoy safe fun and games."

A woman said: "There are far more productive ways of leaving your mark on this earth than wrecking a play park and tearing down saplings.

"I am sickened that someone who lives here has done this and is probably revelling in it."

Another woman added: "It's just so sad that there are people who clearly have no love or respect for our beautiful natural environment.

"I wonder what led them to that point?"

Cllr Phil Bundy, who represents Chilworth, Nursling and Rownhams on TVBC, said: "I am very disappointed that certain members of society feel they have to behave in this way by ruining such a lovely facility for young children.

"Following this incident, a resident reported this vandalism to the police who are continuing to investigate it."

He added residents should contact the police if they have "any kind of evidence" that will help their investigation.

Cllr Bundy also stressed he was "very pleased" how quickly TVBC's officers and staff cleaned the playground, meaning it could be used by the public on Monday (September 21).

Hampshire police has been contacted for comment.