A deliberate fire started in the grounds of a primary school has destroyed their outdoor learning area.

The forest school at Lord Street Primary in Colne has been devastated by a blaze, which broke out on Thursday evening.

Posting about the fire on social media, a spokesperson for the school said: "I’m sorry to announce that today a number of teenagers were caught at forest school damaging our storage shed.

"Tonight forest school has been set on fire and burnt to the ground with all our forest school kit in.

"I’m sorry to say there will be no Forest School for a while."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Head teacher at Lord Street, Duncan Hetherington, said he was very disappointed in those who had caused the fire but was adamant that criminal punishment would not be the best way to deal with the culprits.

He said: "This has come at a time when everyone is at full tilt in and we are preparing to welcome more children back on Monday.

"We planned to use the forest school to try and get all of the children back in using groups of 15 on the site.

"I'm really disappointed. It's more than likely that it's youngsters from Colne who have done this, which makes it even more upsetting.

"People make silly mistakes and children perhaps more than others.

"I would like to talk to whoever has done this and ask them to come back and take some responsibility for their actions.

"The community whip round has been great. As soon as we put something on Facebook a huge amount of people offered their support, which shows what a strong community we have.

"I don't want the culprits to get cautioned by the police as that won't solve anything, I'd rather them come in and help to rebuild the forest school."

Following the fire two parents created fundraising pages to help restore the forest school and in less than 24 hours have managed to amass more than £1,500.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Wendy Brett set a target of £1,000 and has so far raised £950.

She said: "Unfortunately some mindless idiots have taken it upon themselves to burn Lord Street's forest school shed with all its equipment in to the ground.

"The forest school means so much to all the children and its lovely to see the amount of people who have sprung into action to help.

"Hopefully with all these generous donations we'll be able to make forest school bigger and better.

"Please donate, if you can spare anything towards a new shed and tools, equipment etc

"I know it will be a big help for the school and the children who use it."

Another parent, Warren Singleton, also created a page, which has raised more than £600 of its £2,000 target.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: "At 8.45pm two fire engines from Colne and Nelson were called to reports of a fire on Barrowford Road, Colne.

"A shed was on fire and firefighters used two breathing apparatus and one hose reel jet and a thermal imaging camera to extinguish the fire.

"Firefighters were at the scene for fifty five minutes."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson took to Twitter to express his concern over the fire.

He said: "Heartbreaking for everyone who spent so much time creating this and for the children.

"A crowdfunding page has been set up - please donate and share."

The police are investigating the matter but no arrests have been made.

To donate please click on either of these links: Lord Street Forest School.