Vandals have struck at a popular children’s play park, setting it on fire.
The reckless attack took place at Carlisle Park on Monday when it is thought that accelerant was poured onto the safety surface of the junior play area.
The culprits also set fire to a bin and the fencing was burnt.
Morpeth Town Council, which manages the facilities, estimates the damage could run to thousands of pounds.
Clerk Gillian Turner said: “We think that some sort of substance, like petrol or lighter fuel, has been put on the wet-pour surface and set on fire. The surface is built to a certain standard so just putting a match to it wouldn’t cause such a fire.
“This surface has only been down a year, if that. We used to have a carpet-type surface, but if it rained the sludge would flow down the bank and cover it so we were forever having to clean it.
“We sometimes get small fires around Bonfire Night, but it is very rare at this time of year. This just spoils it for everyone. We are coming into the lighter nights when kids want to be out playing in the park and then this happens.
“I just don’t know what gets into people to make them want to do this sort of thing.”
The fire happened at about 9.10pm on Monday. One fire appliance from Pegswood attended. Police are investigating. Anyone with information should call them on 101, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.