A VANDALISED tree in Chapelhay, Weymouth has been repaired by a community-minded ex-sailor.

Retired Jack Palmer, 78, has been involved with a project that aims to brighten up a children's play area with new plants and trees.

He says a spate of vandalism and accidental damage has set the project, back a little but has taken action himself to repair some of the damage.

Former electronics engineer Mr Palmer, of Prospect Place, Weymouth, said: "This project has been going on since early last summer.

"There have been several trees put in, nearly all of which have been broken down either deliberately or accidentally.

"It has been more accidents than deliberate acts I'm sure, but two or three trees over the last couple of weeks were intentionally damaged."

He says the last act of vandalism happened on Saturday night.

He said: "The tree was standing on Saturday evening but by Sunday it was horizontal.

"It was not totally severed."

Mr Palmer, whose wife Audrey sits on the committee which oversees the continuing work on the Chapelhay community playground, has now repaired the tree.

He said: "I'm really quite sad about the damage that has been done.

"I am sad, but not surprised."

Clare Sutton, the county councillor for Rodwell who helped form the committee that launched the rejuvenation project, said: "I think it is important we don't get disheartened by this.

"We know that any open access site is going to experience some level of damage. It's a children's play area so there is bound to be some accidental damage, but the important thing is that we show we're serious about this and keep putting more things in."

Coun Sutton added that a working day will take place on April 1 and she is inviting people to visit the Chapelhay play area and help out by planting new plants.

Anyone wishing to help the project should contact her on 01305 771180.