CCTV could be installed in a village nature park to combat vandalism and “drug-taking”.

Little Chalfont Parish Council has applied for funding to install the cameras at Little Chalfont Nature Park, after a “small minority of young people” were found to have vandalised park furniture and bird boxes, and used the park for taking drugs.

A parish council spokesman said: “This causes distress to users and is stopping some from visiting the park. Actions, including visits by police officers, have failed to stop the problem.

“CCTV will go a long way to identifying the perpetrators and minimising, if not eliminating, the problem.

“The nature park is an important part of Little Chalfont’s ‘Visit Chilterns Strategy’ and we need to eliminate, as far as possible, any anti-social behaviour.”

At a meeting of the Amersham Community Board last Thursday, councillors discussed providing match funding of £3,700 to the parish council, with the total cost of the project coming in at £7,200.

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Councillors praised the “peaceful and tranquil” park, and the people working to maintain it, saying the project needed everyone’s full support.

Buckinghamshire Council leader and the councillor for Little Chalfont, Martin Tett, said: “Whenever I escape from the study I normally go and walk down to the village, and quite often go around the nature park.

“It is lovely. I have seen it subject to vandalism.

“I quite often see in the dusk time a gang of predominantly young men and boys who hang around on bikes there.

“They can be intimidating, they might not be, but they can be frightening to people.

“The idea of the cameras there is a good one. The only thing I ask is that they are put in a place where they can’t be easily vandalised.”

Cllr Caroline Jones described the park as “gorgeous” and said it was for “all the community to use”.

Bucks Free Press: PICTURED: The entrance to the nature parkPICTURED: The entrance to the nature park

She added: “I think [the project] is something that we should all support and aid all those who work so hard to keep this facility absolutely fabulous.”

Cllr Mimi Harker said: “At a time when community outdoor spaces are so important and valuable to us all, this is something that we really should be supporting.

“It is a fantastic haven, it is a little gem in our area.”

Little Chalfont parish councillor Janet Walford, who is also the chairman of the nature park management committee, urged the board to support the application for match funding, saying she had spoken to the youths at the park and they said they wanted “a community centre…somewhere to hang out with their friends”.

She told the meeting: “What they want is a billiards table, a coffee shop and one of those punch bags you can hit.

“They say they want somewhere they can hang out with their mates and they can do that in the nature park because they are not disturbed most of the time. They need somewhere to go.”

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The board agreed a contribution of £3,700 towards the project. The parish council has also applied for £2,500 of funding through Heart of Bucks Foundation, which is expected to reach a decision next month, and is set to put £1,000 of its own money, expected to come from the local infrastructure fund, towards the project.

A council spokesman said: “Elderly people and those with mental health issues find the park a place of peace but can be scared from visiting if there is a threat of unacceptable behaviour.

“The CCTV system will help to reduce incidents in the park which prevent peaceful enjoyment.”

The cameras will be solar powered since there is no electricity in the park, with the parish council saying four cameras will cover different parts of the park, including the entrance area.