VANDALS have destroyed an insect haven in a small community centre garden in a Basingstoke suburb.

A “bug hotel”, donated to the Ridgeway Centre, in Blackdown Close, Buckskin, was smashed some time between 10pm on July 23 and 9am the next day.

Members of the Ridgeway Centre, have condemned the “mindless vandalism”.

Suzanne Hewlins, 67, chairman of the Ridgeway Centre, said she was “shocked” when she saw the destroyed fixture, which was donated to the centre by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

“I was shocked and very disappointed,” she said. “What pleasure do people get from doing something like this?

“So many people have put hard work into this garden. And it is educational for the children.”

She added: “We can rebuild it, and we are not going to be beaten by the vandals.”

Mrs Hewlins said the police would be contacted, and the centre team are waiting for Sovereign Housing Association to retrieve nearby CCTV footage.

Anyone with information that would help the vandalism inquiry should contact Basingstoke police on 101.