Volunteers dedicated to keeping Workington's green spaces beautiful have vowed to not be disheartened after damage was done to Bankfield Mansion Gardens.

The gardens of the former mansion, on Newlands Lane in Workington, were left in disarray this week after a person or persons unknown set fire to a wheelie bin, causing damage to one of the mature beech trees as well as stonework and the path. A large number of glass bottles were also found dumped in the area.

The gardens are maintained by Workington Nature Partnership, a joint partnership between Workington Town Council and Allerdale Borough Council.

This group, staffed entirely by volunteers, refuses to be deterred from their efforts by this or other acts of vandalism.

In reporting the damage to the public on social media, partnership officer Susan Cammish said this week that the group will "persevere" in the face of these actions.

She stressed that the majority of Workington's residents are fully behind the work they do, and that the group is looking forward to a gradual return to normal duties following the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown.

"The nature partnership is currently working through a phased return for our existing volunteers," she said.

""The response from local families during the lockdown has been amazing and we want to continue to work to keep our sites safe and enjoyable."

Susan added that the partnership is looking forward to carrying on the work at the Bankfield Mansion Gardens that is part of the Get Cumbria Buzzing project, which aims to educate the county about the vital role bee populations play in ecosystems, and how they are currently under threat.

"We will continue with the work funded by the Get Cumbria Buzzing project for that site and recommence our partnership working with local schools," she said.

Unfortunately this is not the first time the area has been blighted by vandalism and anti-social behaviour: the gardens suffered damage to walls in October, and a warning to residents to be vigilant was issues after the remains of dangerous fire pits and evidence of drug taking was found in the area.