North Devon Council is appealing for witnesses after an alleged arson attack at a play area in Braunton.

The damage caused by the fire in Braunton. Picture: North Devon District CouncilThe damage caused by the fire in Braunton. Picture: North Devon District Council

Police are investigating the fire at Pill Gardens on Saturday, July 15, which caused £1,800 worth of damage to play equipment.

It is believed the fire was started in the afternoon and the council is keen for potential witnesses to come forward with any information that might help catch those responsible.

The council reopened the play area in March last year, having spent £43,000 of Section 106 funding on new play equipment for the community, with local schoolchildren involved in the designs and choice of equipment.

Councillor Dick Jones, executive member for parks, leisure and culture, said: “I am absolutely appalled that this senseless act has caused such devastation to what is practically a brand new play area.

“I’m sure the young users of the park will be devastated that their play area is now closed, especially as we are heading into the school summer holidays.

“Please help us catch those responsible, we can’t let such a dangerous and mindless act go unpunished.”

Local ward member, Councillor Derrick Spear, added: “I’m shocked that someone would do this and it’s especially sad that this was brand new equipment chosen by local children.

“Please come forward if you know anything that could help.”

Fellow ward member, Councillor Robin Bonds, said: “It’s very sad that people think it’s OK to do something like this, it’s malicious damage and I hope they catch whoever’s responsible.”

The council is asking for anybody with information to contact the police using the 101 number quoting crime reference CR/064419/18 or information can also be passed to the parks team on 01271 388326 or email parks@northdevon.gov.uk.