Vandals attack school gardens

Photo Ian Robinson'Pupils, Callum Sweeney and Stuart Pryce, both 12, in the vandalised polytunnel at Astley Park School

Photo Ian Robinson'Pupils, Callum Sweeney and Stuart Pryce, both 12, in the vandalised polytunnel at Astley Park School

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Chorley schoolchildren have pledged to remain defiant against vandals despite two attacks in the last four weeks.

The polytunnel and bottle house where pupils at Astley Park School, on Harrington Road, have been growing plants and lettuces ready for a party to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee have been trashed.

But rather than let it get the better of them, they have pledged to carry on.

Environmental studies co-ordinator Gill Broughton said: “This is the second time in four weeks we have been targeted.

“The last time was just after the Easter holidays when vandals ripped the polytunnel and damaged the plants as well.

“We have just patched it all up using £27 worth of tape and they have done it again.

“But they won’t stop us.

“We have a new greenhouse which is supposed to go up next week and I thought about putting it off because of all this but you have to carry on and deal with it as best we can.”

The school teaches children with special educational needs and the outside areas are crucial in helping them learn skills.

Gill said: “The children think it is disgusting. I took them down to the polytunnel and they were just asking who could do such a thing.

“We won’t be able to patch the polytunnel up again now because the plastic has been slashed with a knife.

“They have really made a mess of it.

“We can’t afford a new one so we will just have to make do.”

The spate of vandalism comes as another blow for the school, which earlier this year saw the greenhouse blown away in violent gales.

Gill said: “We have just got everything going and we have been growing plants in there and growing lettuces for the Jubilee party we are having later this month.

“The children spent nearly 12 months making a bottle house, which acts just like a greenhouse, and we have lined it with bubble wrap.

“We know it is older children because they left cigarettes and beer cans. With being so near to Astley Park they can run in there. It is very frustrating.”

A spokesperson for Chorley Police said they were aware of the incident and are investigating it.