WORK to improve security at a vandal-hit bowling green in Hartlepool has been completed.

A 2.4m heavy-duty wire fence has been erected around the bowling green at Seaton Carew Park.

Hartlepool Borough Council's grants committee contributed £3,000 towards the cost, part of a £50,314 budget to fund community safety projects.

The council also gave £3,000 from its recreation budget, and Hartlepool Outdoor Bowling Consortium gave £4,000.

Richard Harland, parks development officer at the council, said: "It was clear something needed to be done to address problems we were experiencing with vandalism and other forms of anti-social behaviour."

Vandals have used metal seats beside the green as makeshift barbecues and set the green alight after spraying lighter fuel on it.

Mr Harland said: "After consulting the bowlers who play at Seaton and the police, we felt the fence represented the best way of reducing, or hopefully preventing, these problems."

Ron Wrigglesworth, secretary of Hartlepool Outdoor Bowling Consortium, said: "We are delighted with the new fence and its impact on the problems that were occurring in this area.

"It certainly seems to be acting as a deterrent. Its design is such you actually do not tend to notice it when you are bowling."