King’s Lynn infant school garden destroyed by vandals

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Infant school pupils have seen the garden they helped develop destroyed by vandals within weeks of it being completed.

The attack has left Ellie Roberts, headteacher at Lynn’s Highgate Infant School, wondering if they can ever win the fight to keep the school field safe from harm.

She said: “I feel so sad for the children because there was such a buzz about it and they were so excited. I’m also very angry.

“At the moment I have just left it as it is. We have got to decide if there is any point putting it all back if it is going to just happen again.”

Food company Mars provided a team of volunteers to develop a wildlife area and garden on the field, which is set back from the Gaywood Road school on the other side of the river.

Just before the half-term break, the team, together with pupils, planted trees, made homes for insects, created a willow arch and pond. There was much excitement as pupils watched Lynn firefighters fill the pond.

Staff and pupils returned from the holiday to discover everything had been uprooted and, along with a new picnic bench, dumped into the pond.

Mrs Roberts said: “To begin with I felt really guilty because everybody had put so much effort in and given up their time and it had just been destroyed.

“Some of our children live in flats and don’t have gardens so the field is a really important part of our school. It’s secluded and away from the road so it doesn’t necessarily feel like you’re in the town centre, but that’s also what makes it vulnerable.”

A wooden bridge used to provide access to the field but that was continually vandalised until it became unusable a couple of years ago.

Now staff have to take pupils around past the busy road to gain access and, because drinks cans and other rubbish are often dumped on the field, thorough checks have to be made before children are allowed in.

Mrs Roberts has had an email from Mars offering to send another team to repair the damage.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who has any information about the garden vandalism. The damage was done between 12pm on October 20 and 8am November 3. Contact PCSO Caroline Docking at Lynn Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.