Volunteers at a village community group have been left "extremely despondent" after benches were destroyed in a suspected arson.

The benches were only installed at the playing fields in Glemsford, near Sudbury, two years ago. 

However, they were destroyed in what is being treated by police as a suspected arson at the Tye Green facility on Friday evening. 

East Anglian Daily Times: The area has been cordoned offThe area has been cordoned off (Image: Glemsford Playing Fields Fire)

A representative for The Glemsford Playing Fields Group said: "The general feeling is people are extremely despondent.

"It has only been two years since they were unveiled using the Queen's platinum jubilee as the opportunity which has been burnt to a cinder."

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The facilities were created to incentivise people to enjoy the surrounding wildlife and were made to accommodate wheelchair and pram access.

East Anglian Daily Times: The blaze is being treated as arsonThe blaze is being treated as arson (Image: Glemsford Playing Fields Group)

"The idea was to have an inclusive area that was well maintained and looked after, which was done voluntarily," said the spokesman for the group.

"The intensity of the fire damaged everything around it and pretty much the whole project."

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A JustGiving page has now been set up to help replace the benches and cover additional costs.

"The response has been brilliant locally," added the representative. 

"It is so fresh since happening that we need to take a progressive approach on how this will pan out.

"It has been a really emotional period - pretty much a rollercoaster since Friday. 

"People will be more frustrated. I think the general consensus is to try and create something like a phoenix from the ashes scenario with the right willpower.

"Nothing is going to be done particularly quickly. There is no quick fix."

The group will be continuing with planned events due to take place in the coming months.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: "Police are investigating a fire on the park ground behind Glemsford village hall, Tye Green, in which several benches were badly damaged."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Suffolk police, quoting crime reference number 37/26085/24