A north community has vowed to continue with a local orchard project after it was hit by vandals for the second time since it opened.
The Orchard in Muir of Ord was launched on February 3 with dozens of volunteers helped to plant a mix of 50 trees, as part of a project developed by Moo Food.
But within weeks, a treee had been pulled up.
And now, two months on from its completion, the site has been targeted by vandals again, destroying six trees and damaging 20 tubes and stakes.
Emma Whitham, Director of Moo Food, said: “We have gone through a really awful, distressing and sad situation. The little kids plant these trees and become emotionally attached to them.
“It is sad but the fact that all the masses of the community came to offer their support on Saturday morning, it’s wonderful. If people came to see the damage 24 hours later, they would never have known anything had happened.
“It shows how strong we are as a community and how we can overcome things.”
Vandals first destroyed the site in late February – albeit damaging just one tree.
Following Friday’s incident, the orchard has now been returned to its original state, after local residents banded together on Saturday to help restore the site.
Mrs Whitham says that despite the devastation she and other alike faced following the incident, there is a silver lining, in being able to engage more people to what’s going on.
She added: “I think the community is stronger going forward and is in a better light. We have engaged a group of youngsters that have never been engaged before and we are giving them the opportunity to be engaged in what is going on and I think that’s the most important thing.”
“It is about engaging them and getting them involved in making that space; something they can feel proud of. There is good that has come from a bad situation and we hope to bring people together.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed two teenagers were charged and reported.