VOLUNTEERS and youngsters in Donington are heartbroken after vandals set fire to a recycling bin at a £5,500 conservation area.
Charlie the Chick, a talking recycling bin worth about £480, was badly damaged by the fire last Sunday night when people were enjoying Donington’s Party in the Park.
A voicebox was also stolen from the bin which was donated to the conservation area in Mill Lane after another talking recycling bin called Percy Penguin was torched last month.
The latest attack came just four days after Donington picked up two prizes at this year’s East Midlands in Bloom Awards, including a judge’s prize for the conservation area.
Liz Walker, Donington in Bloom chairman, said: “It happened last Sunday between 11pm and 11.30pm when a man walking past the area noticed a bright light coming from Mill Pond.
“He ran home, got some water and put the fire out, but the inside of the bin was badly damaged and the voicebox has gone.
“There was quite a lot of activity in the area because of Party in the Park and people living in Mill Lane are vaguely aware of what may have gone on.
“But the amount of people who are extremely upset about what’s happened is unbelievable and we think it’s just one or two people being foolish.”
A £100 reward has been put up by an anonymous donor for information given to the police that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
But Mrs Walker, who is also a member of Donington Conservation Group, believes the vandals should be made to pay for a replacement as well.
She said: “We really do try so hard to make both the village and conservation area look beautiful and there are so many willing people who support us.
“Everybody was delighted when we got the new bin and to think that this has happened again makes us a bit fed up to say the least.
“Hopefully the police will catch whoever started the fire and if they do, I feel they should be made to pay for a new bin.”
Anyone with information should call Lincolnshire Police on 101, quoting incident 301 of September 17.