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Downham Market firm CGM Group comes to the rescue of Swaffham Infant and Nursery School after vandalism attacks


By Julie Graham, Business Editor


Downham-based commercial landscaping company CGM Group has come to the rescue of a school nature area which has been attacked by vandals three times.

Pupils and staff at Swaffham Infant and Nursery School were heartbroken when their forest school was targeted. Chairs on an outdoor playbus had been smashed when a tree was forced down, tools broken, a willow tunnel ripped up and a fence damaged during two incidents in April. Vandals also struck soon after the project opened in September.

Damage done during incidents of vandalism at the Swaffham Infant and Nursery School (12084602)
Damage done during incidents of vandalism at the Swaffham Infant and Nursery School (12084602)

The area designed to help children connect with nature and develop a range of practical skills was funded by staff, parents, businesses and the school’s Friends group.

After hearing about the destruction and upset, Marcus Glover, head of operations (grounds) at CGM Group, contacted the school and offered to help.

Hedges are planted at Swaffham Infant and Junior School (12083220)
Hedges are planted at Swaffham Infant and Junior School (12083220)

The school had been advised by the police community beat manager to focus on trying to prevent future vandalism. Marcus had a meeting with Cara Butters, a higher-level teaching assistant and forest school leader, and agreed that CGM Group would remove some low hanging conifer branches to improve visibility, and then plant a defensive hedge around the school boundary.

Cara said: “We are so grateful to CGM Group for coming to the school and donating their time on a Saturday morning. They worked hard to remove the branches and then planted the hedge plants. I really hope their actions stop the forest school being vandalised in the future.”

Cara Butters and Marcus Glover with children from Swaffham Infants and Nursery School (12083188)
Cara Butters and Marcus Glover with children from Swaffham Infants and Nursery School (12083188)

Marcus said: “We were happy to help the school after they had suffered another setback. CGM Group provide grounds maintenance for many schools in the East of England and we’re aware of how their budgets have been tightened.

"Outside learning is important for children, and I hope the children have a lot of fun and enjoy their forest school.”



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