THIEVES have trashed an outdoor learning centre causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
The culprits broke into the woodland camp at Plas Derw Trust forest school, near Caerwys, to steal a woodburning stove used at the site.
Staff at charity Plas Derw Trust, which runs the Flintshire Forest School, made the discovery on Saturday morning.
A spokesman said: “Staff were alerted on Saturday morning to the damage caused to their yurt when thieves ripped open the canvas, smashed the hand-carved frame and stole the small wood burning stove from inside the yurt.
“The theft was intentional as the canvas was seemingly cut with a knife, then they used a saw to cut the ash frame in order to get to the cast iron woodburner.
“As access to the woods is from a quiet back road and the yurt and the forest school camp are not visible from either the road or the entrance to the woods, staff believe it has to be someone with knowledge of the local area and of the forest school site.”
It is not the first time the centre has been targeted by thieves and vandals.
Two years ago the centre was targeted in two separate attacks when yobs trashed the yurt.
Each year more than 500 children aged between three and 18 visit the centre, which promotes outdoor learning and sustainable living and teaches social and physical skills.
The spokesman added: “It is sickening that someone has done this without any regard for the work we do and for the effect this incident will have on the sessions we deliver to children and young people from across North East Wales.
“The damage is going to cost thousands to put right and although it’s covered by insurance, the loss of business and disruption to our sessions isn’t covered.”
Anyone with information is urged to call North Wales Police on 101.