A PLAY park has been officially opened, with a plea to vandals to stay away.

Swings, a climbing frame and a slide has been installed at Hardy’s Corner, in Bridgehill, near Consett.

But police and Durham County Council’s anti-social behaviour teams have already been involved after youths caused damage to the equipment and tried to set it on fire.

Councillor Stephen Robinson said the families of a group of teenagers have been visited and spoken to after they were identified.

He said the new park, which cost £50,000, was specifically for children aged under 12.

Cllr Robinson said: “I have had a lot of positive feedback and people are happy with it because they have not had anything in that area for a long time.

“It is disappointing though when you spend all of this money and kids are coming along that are just wanton vandals.

“It is not for 16-year-olds, it is for younger children, so the older ones should stay away.”