Primary pupils forced to cancel activities after school vandalism

Bucks Free Press: Disappointed Burford School pupils Disappointed Burford School pupils

DISAPPOINTED primary school pupils have had to cancel their outdoor lessons after vandals destroyed their woodland classroom.

Staff at Burford School in Marlow Bottom, which constructed an outside area as part of the international ‘Forest School’ scheme, found it in tatters when returning from the Easter break.

Pupils use the area for building teamwork, practical outdoors skills and learning about environmental issues but have been forced indoors after vandals stole equipment and set fire to large swathes of the clearing.

And assistant headteacher Ian Garner said he is urging residents to be vigilant to help catch the petty criminals who caused the damage to the woodland site, fearing former pupils could be responsible.

He said: "We have had little bits of vandalism in the past. We do checks before we use it for litter and bottles, but this time went we found it like this.

"The children have built dens and were going to work on them this term and it must have been people with nothing better to do over the school holidays.

"We’ve had a lot of support from parents who are landscapers and tree surgeons and it’s been a real community effort and it’s a real shame the kids have not been able to use it.

"It is frustrating and disappointing and the worst part is Marlow Bottom is a small village and this may have been carried out by people who attended the school, but of course we hope not.

"We want to ask members of the public to be vigilant. Obviously if they are not comfortable challenging anyone in the area they should call the police on the non-emergency number as we have a very good relationship with PCSOs in the area."

The vandalism includes broken dens, stolen ropes, fires and damage to log seats.

Mr Garner said he is hopeful they can pick up the pieces and repair the damage can in time for pupils to use the wooded classroom for part of the summer term.

The Forest School initiative was developed in Scandinavia in the 1950s and is supported by groups such as the Forestry Commission and the National Trust.

As well as practical skills, the scheme also aims to boost children's health and fitness and a love of the natural world.

Wendy Avery, Burford’s Forest School teacher said part of the problem with the layout of the Forest School is it runs near a public footpath and invites unwanted guests.

She said: "We understand that the Forest School Area is in the middle of a public right of way but it is very frustrating that people have so wilfully damaged it.

"The children have been very upset this week that they have not been able to use the area whilst repair work has had to take place."

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:16pm Thu 1 May 14

john_b says...

Nice pic of the forlorn looking children - their drama lessons have not been disrupted, at least.
Nice pic of the forlorn looking children - their drama lessons have not been disrupted, at least. john_b
  • Score: 2

11:52pm Thu 1 May 14

England must be saved says...

Remember when Marlow Bottom had the local bobbie, PC Tillman, ably assisted by other cops who lived in the village, all sadly moved on? They knew who the local yobs were. A word in the ear about changing behaviour and the problems dissipated. Back to a local beat bobbie I say and help the yobs see the errors of their ways before it escalates and becomes a bigger issue for everyone.
Remember when Marlow Bottom had the local bobbie, PC Tillman, ably assisted by other cops who lived in the village, all sadly moved on? They knew who the local yobs were. A word in the ear about changing behaviour and the problems dissipated. Back to a local beat bobbie I say and help the yobs see the errors of their ways before it escalates and becomes a bigger issue for everyone. England must be saved
  • Score: 7

1:18pm Fri 2 May 14

pennman says...

sadly, the police do not give a **** anymore. It's all about centralisation, so when you call the non-urgent number, you speak to someone in a call centre who hasn't a clue where you are calling from or what the local problems are. The 'community' police are useless. They know who the culprits are, but won't do anything about it as they have 'other priorities'. This is fast becoming a lawless society I'm afraid. TVP are truly awful
sadly, the police do not give a **** anymore. It's all about centralisation, so when you call the non-urgent number, you speak to someone in a call centre who hasn't a clue where you are calling from or what the local problems are. The 'community' police are useless. They know who the culprits are, but won't do anything about it as they have 'other priorities'. This is fast becoming a lawless society I'm afraid. TVP are truly awful pennman
  • Score: 2

10:37pm Fri 2 May 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

England must be saved wrote:
Remember when Marlow Bottom had the local bobbie, PC Tillman, ably assisted by other cops who lived in the village, all sadly moved on? They knew who the local yobs were. A word in the ear about changing behaviour and the problems dissipated. Back to a local beat bobbie I say and help the yobs see the errors of their ways before it escalates and becomes a bigger issue for everyone.
Perhaps if the yobs - sorry kids - had a parkour site or a youth club they would not have to do these things.
[quote][p][bold]England must be saved[/bold] wrote: Remember when Marlow Bottom had the local bobbie, PC Tillman, ably assisted by other cops who lived in the village, all sadly moved on? They knew who the local yobs were. A word in the ear about changing behaviour and the problems dissipated. Back to a local beat bobbie I say and help the yobs see the errors of their ways before it escalates and becomes a bigger issue for everyone.[/p][/quote]Perhaps if the yobs - sorry kids - had a parkour site or a youth club they would not have to do these things. Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: -1

10:38pm Fri 2 May 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

England must be saved wrote:
Remember when Marlow Bottom had the local bobbie, PC Tillman, ably assisted by other cops who lived in the village, all sadly moved on? They knew who the local yobs were. A word in the ear about changing behaviour and the problems dissipated. Back to a local beat bobbie I say and help the yobs see the errors of their ways before it escalates and becomes a bigger issue for everyone.
Perhaps if the yobs - sorry kids - who do these things to Forest School Areas - sorry who are forced to do these things to Forest School Areas had a parkour site or a youth club they would not have to do these things.
[quote][p][bold]England must be saved[/bold] wrote: Remember when Marlow Bottom had the local bobbie, PC Tillman, ably assisted by other cops who lived in the village, all sadly moved on? They knew who the local yobs were. A word in the ear about changing behaviour and the problems dissipated. Back to a local beat bobbie I say and help the yobs see the errors of their ways before it escalates and becomes a bigger issue for everyone.[/p][/quote]Perhaps if the yobs - sorry kids - who do these things to Forest School Areas - sorry who are forced to do these things to Forest School Areas had a parkour site or a youth club they would not have to do these things. Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: -1

10:45pm Fri 2 May 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

john_b wrote:
Nice pic of the forlorn looking children - their drama lessons have not been disrupted, at least.
Yeah if the kids were given a good THRASHING then they'd have something to look forlorn about - but as it is then there is only the loss of their Forest School Area to look forlorn about - pah!
[quote][p][bold]john_b[/bold] wrote: Nice pic of the forlorn looking children - their drama lessons have not been disrupted, at least.[/p][/quote]Yeah if the kids were given a good THRASHING then they'd have something to look forlorn about - but as it is then there is only the loss of their Forest School Area to look forlorn about - pah! Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: -3

9:36pm Tue 6 May 14

Moonpanda says...

Did they put signs up to say all this stuff was being used by the school?
Did they put signs up to say all this stuff was being used by the school? Moonpanda
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree