Charity fed up of having to fix outdoor classroom repeatedly targeted by vandals near Northampton

An outdoor classroom aimed at teaching youngsters about nature near Northampton is being repeatedly vandalised - and now the people that maintain it have had enough.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 2:36 pm
The chair at Sustrans' outdoor classroom in Brampton Valley has been repeatedly vandalised.

Walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, is appealing for help after the learning environment it maintains in Brampton Valley Way was wrecked again over the weekend.

During the incident, a chair built for storytelling was smashed to pieces. It is the third time the site has been vandalised and Sustrans members say they do not have the resources to repair it yet again.

Sustrans ecologist, David Watson, said: “We need help from the community to repair the damage done to the classroom as a result of this mindless act of violence.

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The story area is popular with school children.

"I just don’t understand the mentality behind this callous vandalism, which has now happened three times.

"My sympathy, actually, is with the volunteers who’ve built this feature and the schoolchildren who’ve enjoyed using it.

"However, without help and support from volunteers and anyone in Northampton who could provide time, skills, materials or money I fear we won’t be able to make the story chair safe to use again and we might have to remove it permanently.”

Mr Watson said the classroom has been very popular with primary school children of all ages and has been built entirely by volunteers and supporters of Sustrans.

Last year two students from Malta taking part in the ERASMUS programme took on the task of designing improvements for the outdoor classroom.

They built the storytelling chair and put up hooks for hammocks and rain shelters to make a semi-weatherproof space. They also made musical instruments and created mud play areas.

After the chair was built it was damaged over the school holidays. It followed a more serious attempt to destroy it earlier this year when volunteers repaired it and put it deeper in the ground with more concrete.

The latest incident has been reported to Northamptonshire Police and anybody with any information should contact them immediately on 101.