Vandals destroy Grantham forest school just hours after it opens

Vandals destroyed the park within hours of the NCS opening yesterday.
Vandals destroyed the park within hours of the NCS opening yesterday.
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Senseless vandals have destroyed a brand new forest school, just hours after it was opened in Wyndham Park, Grantham.

The garden school was created as part of a project by The National Citizen Service (NCS) who have spent the past week working hard to create it.

The Mayor of Grantham, Coun Mike Cook was invited to the official opening ceremony yesterday.

The Mayor of Grantham, Coun Mike Cook was invited to the official opening ceremony yesterday.

The Mayor of Grantham, Coun Mike Cook was invited to cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony yesterday (Thursday) and was impressed with the amount of effort that the group of 16 and 17 year olds had put in to making it an interesting and fun place for people to visit, complete with logs, flowers, new fencing and stepping stones.

But overnight, it became the target of vandals who left litter strewn across the area. Plants were also uprooted, fence posts smashed and torn down and the remains of a bonfire have been left in the middle of the garden area.

A neighbour to Wyndham Park discovered the damage, when he was walking through the park this morning and reported it to the police.

A park warden was also at the scene this morning.

He said: “I knew what had happened as soon as I pulled into the park and saw some of the plants in the middle of the carpark. It is despicable.”

NCS member Shelby Harrison, 16, joined other NCS members at the park this afternoon to see the damage.

She said: “We are still in shock. It was barely open 12 hours before it was destroyed. Yesterday was our last day on the NCS programme, so we are devastated that this has happened.”

The Leader of South Kesteven District Council, Councillor Matthew Lee, said: “I was saddened to hear of the vandalism that took place at the Forest School. Having visited the site only yesterday (17 August) to meet participants I saw at first hand the skill and dedication they had given to this excellent project to benefit park users.

“The Council’s grounds maintenance service providers Glendale are now leading the clear up operations to restore the area to its intended use in conjunction with National Citizen Service.”

Determined not to let the vandals win, members from the NCS group aswell as staff from NCS East Midlands 1 are also helping with the clean up operation this afternoon.

Police are appealing for information.

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “The incident was reported to us at 8am this morning, that the area had been trashed – fence posts snapped and plants uprooted. We are in the process of arranging an appointment with the victim. If anyone has info, please call 101 or to report anonymously, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Litter was strewn all over the area.

Litter was strewn all over the area.

The remains of a bonfire

The remains of a bonfire

Plants have been uprooted

Plants have been uprooted

Plants have been uprooted

Plants have been uprooted