Grassroots football teams can breathe a sigh of relief after a joyride across the pitches at Stanley Park caused minimal damage.

Ground staff had been nervously waiting for snow to thaw to assess the damage after a car drove across the pitches on Monday, December 12.

Four of the five pitches were damaged and staff feared they could be unplayable for up to three months.

But Paul Harvey, head of leisure services for Chippenham Town council, has confirmed that while the pitches will need work, this will not significantly impact grassroots football.

He said: “A couple of areas are worse than others but it is not as severe as we thought. The pitches will need work, but they will not be out of use for a significant period.

“They should be back in time for the end of the Christmas break so it will not affect our ability to take bookings.”

CCTV footage of the incident was sent to police, who urged those with information to contact them on 101 quoting the reference number 54220130499.

A spokesperson said: “We have received a report of criminal damage after a suspect drove his car across several football pitches and a training area at Stanley Park Sports Ground, Pewsham. 

“Our investigation is in its early stages and enquiries are ongoing.”