MINDLESS vandalism of Sauchie's Christmas tree will only strengthen community spirit, residents have said.

The beautiful evergreen conifer wrapped in neon blue lights is poised at the heart of the village.

After almost 30 years without a display, the tree, situated behind the resource centre, was draped with lights in a bid to bring back festive cheer to the area.

However, after completing a check on Thursday ahead of the annual switch-on, it became clear that the lights were not attached to the electrical supply with several cut from the power.

Craig Miller, manager of Sauchie Community Group, said: "This is a really sad example of a few mean spirited individuals trying to destroy everyone’s enjoyment by causing the destruction of the efforts of others.

"It is completely unnecessary and I’m sure if they reflected on their actions they would see how unfair this act of vandalism is to those who have worked tirelessly to bring this Christmas fun day to residents of Sauchie.

"The committee of Sauchie Community Group are determined that the light switching on will still take place and we will ensure that the day is still fun with lots of treats for all the family.

"I would like to congratulate and commend all those who are now having to give up extra time to find solutions to repairing some of the damage to the tree lights."

Flo Mackenzie, the president of Sauchie Community Group, hopes the culprit will regret their behaviour after realising the hurt they have caused to genuine hard-working people at a joyful time of year.

She said: "It now stands partially lit and looking very sad. I have great difficulty understanding the mind set of people who would deliberately destroy something so beautiful.

"They must wake up in the morning filled with hate, anger, jealousy and vindictiveness. To live with these feelings every day must be soul and mind destroying.

"Due to the time frame and the funding required to have the tree restored to it's original beauty, it will remain in the present state this year.

"I refuse to have it disconnected and hope that this will symbolise to the community how hard the Sauchie Community Group work to make Sauchie a town for which everyone can be proud."