MINDLESS vandals have forced an angling club to close until further notice.

Oil has been poured into the lake at Mouldon Hill Country Park, while expensive fishing platforms have also been damaged and padlocks filled with glue.

Club secretary Danny Gray was horrified when he discovered the issues on Sunday morning and says it will cost thousands of pounds to put them right.

The 42-year-old said: “We have never had or experienced damage as bad as this in all the years Mouldon Hill Angling Club has been running.

“Angry is an understatement. We just spent £225 to fix one of the platforms a couple of weeks ago. And vandals have just gone and destroyed it in one evening and that is £225 loss for the club.

“We now got to replace the whole thing which will cost probably £550 per platform and we got four of them to replace.”

Danny said the criminal act will affect the club hugely as the platforms were used regularly by anglers.

Danny added: “We got an idea on who might be behind this but we’ve got no proof.

“These incidents started in September; we should have contacted the police straight away instead of dealing with it ourselves. I suppose that something we are going to have to learn for the future."

Chairman Kevin Maddison founded the club in 2000 to provide anglers and youngsters with a place to gather.

But the club has been targeted several times over the years.

Kevin, 50, said: “When I set up the club we had 20-30 anglers and we've got over 100 now. We developed the club so everyone can join, young, old, disabled and children.

“I am really down, I am lost for words. I am shocked, upset and angry, it makes you want to reach out somewhere for help.

“In terms of the health and safety aspect we will have to close the lake at least from now until further notice.”

Around 115 members will be affected by the decision.

Kevin added: “It also brings concerns for the general public, because they are going to want to keep the dogs and children away from this.

“We have families coming down here. But we had few problems with youngsters congregating, starting bonfires and drinking alcohol.

“We spent thousands and thousands on platforms and trying to make the area safe. But this time, it’s the worst.

“We are not going to be sitting on this, we are going to do as much as we can to find out who has done it.”

The two men are offering a £100 to anyone who can help identify those responsible.

“We are also discussing a plan of action – guards, CCTV etc,” said Kevin. “But we are going to try and find funding for that, at the moment we are just trying and help the police as much as we can to find out who’s done this.

“It has to stop now, it’s been going on for years. It’s ridiculous.

“The lake is now closed until further notice to anglers until we can make it safe.”

The club had 14 platforms and is now down to eight following the recent incidents.

Swindon Borough Council owns and manages the site and has been approached by the Adver for comment.

A spokeswoman for Wiltshire Police said: "We can confirm we have received a report of criminal damage to five fishing platforms at Mouldon Hill Country Park which is believed to have occurred between 10pm on November 16 and 8am on November 17."