The Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for North West Hampshire is appealing to the public after a community woodland was vandalised several times during the pandemic.

Dmitrijs Meiksans has asked the public for help protecting Harmony Woods - a 44-acre-site behind the East Anton Sports Pavilion in August Park - being spearheaded by charity Andover Trees United.

During lockdown, the site has been vandalised numerous times, with toilet doors and door handles being ripped off, locks on the site being damaged, and graffiti across the area.

Dmitrijs, who has recently been appointed the Youth Advisor to the charity’s Board of Trustees after volunteering for the charity for five years, described the damage as “absolutely devastating.” He said: “This space is open to the public to enjoy and a small group of people are causing a lot of damage.

“Unfortunately this is nothing new as vandals have targeted the site in the past and for a charity, any damage to property is significant and we really do want to ensure we keep the site open for everyone to use and enjoy.”

Dmitrijs continued: “I would ask residents that use the site to be vigilant and report anything suspicious.”

As a result of the vandalism, Andover Trees United has applied for a grant to set up cameras across the site to ramp up security measures. They have also reported the incidents to the police, with local PCSOs now patrolling the site to deter vandals.

The charity was set up in 2012 to create a woodland that can be enjoyed by generations of Andover residents to come, and works closely with schools and young people to achieve this.

It continues to develop the site, planting 1000 trees this year, as well as installing improved signage and adding to the wildflower meadow.