VOLUNTEERS from Pickering in Bloom have expressed their anger after vandals destroyed one of their displays.

The display, in Smiddy Hill, was first installed last year to mark the Tour de Yorkshire’s visit to Pickering.

Since then members of Pickering in Bloom have regularly updated the planting with seasonal themes.

Eileen Blakeley, from the group, said: “The display has been carefully looked after by our members and most recently it was given a Mother’s Day theme.

“Unfortunately, sometime after that weekend it was vandalised and the plants thrown around.

“Our volunteers have repaired the damage, but it is disheartening to think that there are people in our town who could do such a thing.”

Eileen said Pickering in Bloom was formed in 1987 as an advisory working party to the town council, but in 2005 the group became independent and began to concentrate on planting schemes and improvements needed to make colourful displays around the town.

“Over the years dedicated volunteers have gradually refurbished all the planters and gardens in the town and achieved eye-catching displays in both spring and summer,” she said.

“The generosity of annual business donations and planter sponsorship has ensured that all the costs involved have been met and any surplus funds have been used to provide seating.”

Eileen said they had been the target of odd acts of vandalism but hoped those involved would stop and think about the work and effort volunteers put in to the displays.

“We are fortunate that Pickering has a close knit community and whenever we are out and about in our yellow high-visibility jackets people stop to talk and compliment us on how the town looks,” she said.

“Some visitors on trips to the town even stop to take photos and tell us it is worth coming to Pickering just to look at the flowers.

“Yes, we are angry about what has happened but it won’t stop our efforts to keep Pickering blooming.”

Anyone who is interested in joining the group is welcome to meet them each Wednesday at 10am at the Ropery.