PUPILS learning about gardening and nature at a primary school have been left heartbroken by vandals who destroyed their polytunnel and forest area.

In the last two months their actions have forced the closure of part of the playground at Coates Lane Primary School in Barnoldswick.

Headteacher Sarah White is hoping police can catch those responsible to stop the repeated damage.

Cllr David Whipp, who represents Pendle Rural division on Lancashire County Council, has branded the repeated vandalism ‘a disgrace’.

Mrs White said: “Over the last eight weeks we have had some terrible vandalism around school.

“Unfortunately, our polytunnel has been ripped and cut and people have poured paint all over the floor and sides.

“Since the summer we have been working hard to develop the inside of our polytunnel and our gardening club has done lots of work to prepare it for winter.

“It’s such a shame some members of the community have taken it upon themselves to destroy it. It will no longer function effectively as it needs to be sealed to maintain humidity.

“We are very sad about this and the children are extremely disappointed we are unable to use it at the moment.

“As well as the polytunnel, we have had areas of the playground messed with and lots of wood thrown around which makes areas unsafe for our younger children.

“Last year we paid to have our forest area tidied so that we could use it for forest school sessions but now the willow branches used to create paths have been removed and thrown around.

“It’s heartbreaking that people have come and done this to our lovely school.

“The police have been contacted and we hope they help put a stop to the vandalism.”

Cllr David Whipp said: “It is disheartening. Children have put a lot of effort into these this.

"This heartless vandalism is a disgrace.

“I just hope the police can catch the culprits and deter others from vandalism.”