A CHILDREN'S play area was set alight twice by vandals.
On Sunday a passer-by spotted the surface of the park in Chester Road, Helsby, was on fire.
Firefighters were called and attended the scene within minutes.
Frodsham Station commander subofficer Alan Oulton said: 'The vandals had set fire to the rubberised safety surface around the swings.
'Rubbish or paper or some sort of accelerant was set on it and they set fire to it. It damaged about two square metres of play surface.'
The parish council, which has a duty to keep the park open, paid for repairs costing about £325. Later, another fire started under the swings - but this time it did not take hold.
Helsby parish councillor Barbara Atkinson called the vandalism 'dis-graceful' and said it was 'more expense' following repairs for past acts of vandalism. She said the park was the only area young people can go.
'They are destroying the chance of the little ones to have any chance to play,' she said.
The children's roundabout had to be repaired 18 months ago to the tune of £2,700 after vandals damaged it.
Cllr Atkinson said she would report the fires to the Frodsham and Helsby Community Safety Action Group at its meeting today.