A GROUP of children went from vandals to volunteers after scribbling on equipment at a community play area.

The team at the Lower Walditch Play Area said the newly-installed picnic table, bench and slide frame had been defaced with a marker pen.

They shared images of the drawings and asked that parents whose children were at the park on Sunday, April 18 would talk to them and see if they knew anything about it.

On the following Sunday, April 25 - the youngsters who were responsible for the graffiti visited the play area along with their parents and admitted their mistake and helped to remove the remaining drawings. They also brought with them cards, flowers and biscuits for the committee - to apologise for the incident.

Siobhan Dashwood, member of the Lower Walditch Play Area committee, said: "When we found the graffiti we were a bit annoyed and frustrated because we've all put so much time and effort into the play area. Th benches were designed, built, cut by hand and to see them defaced was a real blow.

"We put a post on Facebook and one of the parents contacted me and said they've had a word. Their child said he and his friends had drew on the equipment. We met with them on Sunday and they brought sand paper and cleaning products and wiped it off.

"It sounds silly but it was such a lovely resolution. The children were genuinely so remorseful and said it was a mistake and that they were sorry.

She added: "It's nice that they learned a lesson and appreciate the space and they will be coming back to work in the future. It can be very embarrassing if you or your child has done something wrong but for the youngsters to come forward it is very brave and mature."

It is a busy period for the play area - with the 'Viking Swinger', purchased thanks to a grant from the National Lottery’s Community Fund, being installed next month.

The group also plans to hold a 'grand opening' in July to mark its one-year anniversary.

The team is in need of more volunteers to help plant and install some of the equipment. If you are interested in helping out when you have a day free, email playareaandorchard@gmail.com