Volunteers have been left disheartened after hammer-wielding yobs vandalised a newly-restored feature at a beauty spot.

Vandals are believed to have used a hammer or another heavy tool to smash part of the wall at the wishing well at Greenhill Gardens on Weymouth seafront.

Some money was also thought to be stolen from the well, but it is not clear how much was taken. 

The wishing well was due to be unveiled for the new season after some work was carried out on it.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth Rotary Club is responsible for the upkeep of the well, taking over from the now disbanded Melcombe Regis Rotary Club.

The club was in the process of renovating the well to give it a new look and make it an attraction after an idea from one of its member’s granddaughters.

Jerry Way’s eight-year-old granddaughter Islay came up with the idea for the well to be the Greenhill Magical Fairy Wishing Well, which would feature pictures of fairies, dragonflies, and butterflies.

It is designed to be a hot spot for families to visit to make wishes by throwing coins into the well.  

Dorset Echo: Despite a ‘really wet’ winter, the club spent more than £1,000 to install a new cover for the well.

Mr Way, said: “It’s really depressing as we were getting ready for the big reveal in a few weeks' time - but I don’t want to focus on the negatives.

“It looks as though someone has gone to it with a sledgehammer, and smashed the first three layers.”

Mr Way, an engineer, said the well had been protected with a 6mm-thick lid so as to stop people breaking in with crowbars.  

Despite the situation, Mr Way has remained positive.

He said: “This is just a setback and won’t stop us, and we will work hard to make it look better than it did before.”

Dorset Echo: Estimating the damages to be ‘hundreds of pounds,’ Mr Way said: “The brickwork is smashed and the whole structure is now unsafe. If we patch it up it will always bear the scars and will not be as magical.”

The repair job on the structure could take ‘a couple of months’ according to Mr Way.

Dorset Echo: The well had previously been a target for vandals in 2018, but was repaired again.

Mr Way is asking anyone who wants to contribute to the restoration and renovation to the wishing well to contact him through his email jway@imluk.com  

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: "It is reported that between Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26 damage was caused to Greenhill Gardens wishing well in Weymouth.

"It was further reported that money was stolen from the well. No arrests have been made."