Vandals have targeted the work of a village conservation group for the second time in a matter of weeks.

Members of Hollins Conservation Group were disgusted by the latest incident, which saw a gateway on Hags Lane ripped off its hinges.

Group member Paul Snelson said: “We know it happened some time between 1.30pm and 7pm on June 20, but unfortunately there were no witnesses.

"If anyone knows anything about it, we’d ask them to get in touch with us or the police.

“All told, it’s going to cost around £400 to replace, which is frustrating because that money could have been used to further improve the area.”

Hollins Conservation Group member Paul Snelson next to the damaged fenceHollins Conservation Group member Paul Snelson next to the damaged fence (Image: Neil Brandwood)

It is the latest incident of vandalism, and yet another example of how the hard work and dedication of conservation group members is being undermined by yobs.

Mr Snelson said: “Earlier in June, a kissing gate at the Boden Way entrance to the reserve was badly damaged.

"The post was snapped at its base causing about £300 of damage.

“I learned that a mini digger had been stolen from a construction site on Croft Lane, which accounted for the tracks I discovered by the shattered gate.

“Although it wasn’t their fault, the contractor very kindly replaced the gate the same day, for which we were all very grateful.”

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The damaged fenceThe damaged fence (Image: Neil Brandwood)

The damaged fenceThe damaged fence (Image: Neil Brandwood)

Hollins Conservation Group was established 17 years ago, and it has helped transform the area.

Members and volunteers work throughout the year on improvements, repairs and installations.

Their tireless efforts have resulted in such things as new fencing being erected, hedges and footpaths being laid, drainage ditches being dug, the creation of a forest school accessible for all, and a £1,400 boardwalk.

It has no regular income and so depends on grants and money raised from a football card at the village’s Hollins Bush pub.

Although angry and upset by the latest vandalism, the group is undaunted and will continue with its public-spirited and selfless environmental projects.

“You can’t let them grind you down,” said Mr Snelson.

If you would like to join or support Hollins Conservation Group, or learn more about the work it does, visit its Facebook page.

If you have any information about the vandalism contact police on 101.