STUDLEY villagers have labelled acts of vandalism and arson in the village as "mindless" and "demoralising".

There have been several incidents where vandals have gone through the village ripping out plants, destroying hanging baskets and planters, and ruining much of the good work done by the Studley in Bloom committee.

And in the latest incident, which happened at some time just before 11pm on Thursday, July 10, someone set fire to a large polytunnel on the village allotments, causing £500-600 damage, and destroying all the plants growing in it. Sheds have also been broken into.

The owner of the polytunnel, Adrian Smith, a resident who sits on the parish council and is secretary of the allotment committee, said the act was "mindless".

He said: "We have also had several sheds broken into but nothing's been taken. You could almost understand it if people were stealing tools to sell on, but they're not.

"This is absolutely mindless, and it's so disheartening for everyone who puts an effort into maintaining their plot and looking after the village.

"We want other villagers to be aware of what's happened and to make sure they're alert in case someone tries doing something like this again."

A spokesman for the parish council said the damage to the In Bloom displays, and to the allotments, was "demoralising".

The police confirmed that they are continuing to investigate the various incidents.

A spokesman said: "We are taking this seriously and investigations are ongoing. All the victims have been talked to be the Safer Neighbourhood Team to keep them informed at all times."

He added that patrols have been stepped up around the area to prevent further damage being caused.