TEACHERS from a Great Harwood primary school are hoping to raise cash to replace a vandalised forest area for teaching.

A Justgiving page has been set up for St John’s School as they try to generate much-needed funds to return their forest school to its former glory after it was damaged in September last year.

School bosses were shocked to see that fires had been burnt on the site and the area damaged.

Donna Hoyle, assistant headteacher, said: “We managed to create the forest school after going through the Tesco Bags for Life scheme and that helped to get it set up.

“They gave us £1k and the great thing is that the kids have done it for themselves.

“We have been using our own stuff to get it up and running but then months later some kids got access and trashed it.

“It was a write-off and a terrible situation and how much of a mess was left.

“The children were so disappointed and we are smallish school with 140 primary school kids and we had to tell them that some people are naughty and want to stop people having fun.

“We are on a shoestring budget and can’t afford to replace it so we set up the page to see if we can raise £2,000.

“We also want to fence it off so it does not happen again.”

Mrs Hoyle added that the children have enjoyed having the forest school.

She said: “It has been a massive addition to the area and they have embraced it.

“We think it is great for the children to generate their own independence and develop their problem solving skills.

“We have done the initial den building with them but they have been able to learn about science lessons.

“They have been working in teams to create dream-catchers and when they have finished a certain project we have rewarded them by having a fire and eating marshmallows and enjoying being outdoors.

“There is so much research out there about forest schools and saying they are important and we believe it too.

“It is a shame that we are not able to use it like we used to and we need to raise money for it.”

n If you want to donate to the scheme then visit the website via https://bit.ly/2JalaJs