A HEADTEACHER has appealed to teenage yobs to stop trashing his pupils ‘little garden of Eden’.
Mark Standen said teens were breaking in to the forest school behind Holy Trinity Primary School, Darwen, drinking alcohol, wrecking furniture and leaving broken bottles behind.
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Mr Standen said children at the school would be left heartbroken when they return to school on Monday and discover a section of the garden, mainly used by reception class and pupils with autism, had been badly damaged over the summer holidays.
The vandalism saw parts of the forest school set on fire, and a mud kitchen built by pupils destroyed.
The yobs actions have been condemned by politicians, with Darwen MP Jake Berry calling it ‘a sad state of affairs’ and Sunnyhurst councillor Peter Hollings branding it as ‘shocking’.
Mr Berry said: “Acts of anti-social behaviour like this are unfortunately all too common across Darwen. It’s a sad state of affairs when young people return from their summer holidays and are going to have their enjoyment of their forest school disrupted.
“I hope that the local police force will be assisting the school to make sure damage like this doesn’t happen again.”
Cllr Hollings said: “It’s shocking that people can put the children’s safety at risk and it’s shocking that people would vandalise projects that children have put together for their own eduction and enjoyment.
“This is not an isolated incident and I’ll be talking to the police to see if patrols can be stepped up.”
Mr Standen, who described the space as a little garden of Eden, is due to check through the school’s CCTV footage to identify the culprits.
He said the forest school, which cost thousands of pounds to set up earlier this year, had been regularly broken into by vandals, who were drinking alcohol and leaving broken bottles behind.He said staff had to pick up litter on a regular basis.
In the past yobs have also smashed windows and attempted to break into the school.
Mr Standen said: “It’s supposed to be a great area for my kids to go and enjoy themselves and it’s got to be safe.
“If they want to come up and sit on the benches and talk I don’t mind. But what we have is people coming on, drinking, smashing bottles and leaving them around.
“I would say to them, ‘your days at primary school are over. Leave it for the little ones to enjoy’.
“The youngsters should be able to put their hands in bushes or trees without the fear of coming out with glass sticking out of their hands.
“We don’t have a finite amount of money. All the money I spend in the school is the children’s money. It’s effectively the children who suffer when things like this happen.”
Anyone with information should contact Darwen Police via 101.