Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 17:06 UK

Water fight damages public garden

The damaged garden
Broken water balloons and water pistols were left at the park

A mass water fight organised on the internet has caused thousands of pounds of damage to a public garden in Leeds.

About 350 people, armed with water pistols and buckets, arrived at Millennium Square garden after an open invitation was posted on Facebook.

The city council said plants were trampled, turf ripped up and water features emptied and filled with foam.

Police are examining CCTV footage of the event. The garden scooped a bronze medal at the 2004 Chelsea Flower Show.

Videos and pictures of people damaging the garden have been posted on Facebook, a social networking website, and on the YouTube video website.

'Appalling' destruction

John Procter, the council's executive member for leisure, said: "Our parks staff were distraught when they discovered the wreckage.

"Frankly I'm appalled at the total disregard for people's ongoing enjoyment of this beautiful city centre oasis.

"To destroy years of careful cultivation for a couple of hours of so-called fun is unforgivable.

"We will be pulling out all the stops to make sure everything is put right.

"It will stretch parks staff to the limit when they are already working hard on this year's Chelsea garden and the bedding and container planting for the city's summer displays."

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