A CHILDREN'S play area has been closed after vandals snapped a ride on elephant.

Lawford Parish Council has been forced to shut Riverside Play Area in Colchester Road after the damage on Saturday.

Councillor Julie Langstone said: "Apparently on Saturday a youth of about 17 got on the little jumping up and down elephant and he broke it then ran off.

"Somebody kindly removed it so no-one could hurt themselves but the damage to the base is really severe and it's causing a really bad trip hazard.

"Until further notice the play area is closed.

"It's a shame, it's a popular play area, especially before and after school."

The play area, near Highfields Primary School, also has a ride-on bus, a roundabout, swings and climbing net.

Julie added: "We will get it sorted as soon as we can but the base that is left needs replacing.

"It will cost hundreds of pounds."