Vandals have been heavily criticised by Richmond Council for mindlessly destroying the eco-Christmas tree and play equipment in Diamond Jubilee Gardens.

A group of vandals reportedly attacked the park on December 1, by setting the Twickenham Riverside Trust's eco-Christmas tree on fire, along with a number of pieces of equipment in the play area.

Ishbel Murray, Assistant Director of Environment and Community Services at Richmond Council, said:"It is hard to see why anyone would indulge in such mindless acts of vandalism in our parks - particularly destroying a Christmas tree that has been made in support of local children over the years!

"Thankfully incidents of vandalism like this are relatively rare in the borough but it is always very disappointing to see this kind of behaviour in our parks.

"It is the young children who are most affected in this instance.

"I would encourage anyone with information about this incident to contact the police."

The play area was hit again on December 2, when the vandals caused even more damage to play equipment.

The council said it is working with the police to identify those responsible.

The play equipment will be replaced and the council has offered to fund a new Christmas Tree for the popular Twickenham park.

The play area is temporarily closed whilst the council cleans up the damage and it was confirmed that CCTV will be installed in the area.

Anyone with any information regarding the crime is encouraged to contact the Police on the non-emergency line: 101.