A CHILDREN'S play area has been repaired by local builders less than 24 hours after it was vandalised.

Lymington's Woodside Gardens play park was extensively damaged by vandals overnight on Monday.

The roof panels on a section of the wooden structure had been broken off and needed to be replaced.

After news of the damage spread amongst the local community, treehouse specialists Mr Treehouse and Mr Zipwire visited the park, assessed the situation and repaired the damage.

They soon decided a repair was possible and offered to carry out the work free of charge.

After gaining the permission of Lymington and Pennington Town Council to carry out the work - the normal three week quotation period was waived - the local builders set about getting the play area back open.

Their efforts were assisted by fellow local business CMF Builders, who bought materials from Southampton and supplied them for the job - also free of charge.

Once materials arrived, the repair commenced and the play area was reopened at 4.30pm.

Richard Thorne, director of Mr Treehouse and Mr Zipwire, said: "We took the opinion that why should a small minority spoil the fun for everyone else.

"We had so much encouragement and support while we were doing the repair.

"Hopefully this will be a lesson to the people who vandalised the site that our community will pull together and support each other."

Charles Finch, business owner of CMF Builders, said: "I have grown up in Lymington and had a business in Lymington for the last 25 years.

"I played down there myself as a child and I know a lot of families who play down there regularly.

"When I heard what had happened I jumped at it saying let's get it sorted now."

Lymington and Pennington town mayor Barry Dunning said: "I would like to thank Richard Thorne of Mr Treehouse and CMF Builders for their kind offer to repair the damage done by these mindless, thoughtless individuals.

"It is very sad that Lymington's great facilities are being vandalised by a few individuals who are mindless at best but malicious and callous in general.

"Thankfully they do not represent the great youth of our society but have let them down."

Hampshire Police confirmed they received reports of damage to the play area at Woodside Gardens between the evening of Monday August 7 and the morning of Tuesday August 8.

No arrests have been made.

Police appeal for any witnesses with information to contact them on 101 quoting reference number 44170305345.