The community in Hillsborough is outraged after vandals destroyed flowerbeds in the village.
A large number of floral displays were completely destroyed. Plants were ripped out of containers and three tiered planters were upturned.
The planted horse which contains over 8,000 plants was also damaged and has since been removed from the village.
Dawn McEntee and David Reid from Hillsborough Community Group were shocked at the damage. Dawn in particular carries out community volunteering work and works with local children, schools and groups to ensure that Hillsborough looks as good as possible every summer.
A statement from the Group said: “This wanton destruction and total disregard for the village is very disappointing. Basically it is a year’s work of planning, buying plants, tending, watering, involving children in planting and volunteer work literally ripped apart.
“Our support is with the Council’s team of gardeners who we know were on-site the following morning to try to repair the damage. It is not just the cost of the flowers but it is the efforts put in by everyone that has been so disregarded by whoever did this.
“We cannot think what anyone gains by wrecking the beautiful flowers that the village is famed for and hope the person or persons involved can be brought to account,” they concluded.
Lisburn Councillor Jenny Palmer, said: “It is not just the cost of the materials that has vexed us so deeply, which runs into thousands of pounds when everything is added up.
“It is the cost of effort, time and community participation; from the very young to older members of the community that has aggravated us so much. It is the complete disregard for the commitment of local residents and Council staff who have used every effort to make the village a nicer place to live, visit and work in.
“It is all the more poignant that this year Hillsborough is a finalist in the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition; one of only eight villages from across the whole of the United Kingdom to reach that level.
“The village looked beautiful and I am only thankful that the judging has already taken place.
“I wish to express my thanks to the community group who have helped clear up the mess left and I want to pay tribute to the Council’s gardening team who were on the spot first thing on Saturday morning and who have managed to obtain enough flowers to replant most of the containers.”