Vandals trash Flintshire school camp

Reporter:

Matt Jones

SCHOOLCHILDREN have been left heartbroken after vandals trashed an outdoor learning centre.

There have been two separate attacks at the woodland camp at Plas Derw Trust forest school near Caerwys and each has caused a substantial amount of damage to the site and to the children’s work.

Philippa Gallagher, outdoor learning co-ordinator at the school, said: “Someone has tried to break into the yurt causing substantial damage at a cost of over £200.

This is not the first time it has happened. It is very distressing and it is heart-breaking.

“The children normally deal with it really well but this time they were quite cross about it. They did some tidying up.

“Our main issue is what they have done to the yurt. They have tried to break the door down and burn the ropes holding it together. It is the focal point of the school and gives shelter when it is cold.

“The children make tables from sticks and string and when they get pulled down it is heart-breaking. There is also evidence of drinking.”

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.

Anybody who has seen people on the site without supervision is being urged to contact the police.

Philippa said the project is under threat if the attacks continue.

“This organisation has limited funds having taken years to afford the yurt and if this kind of damage continues it could result in the project being taken elsewhere,” she said.

Caerwys councillor Jim Falshaw said: “They have done quite some damage. The children who go there are fantastic. They built a quiet area with seats and flowers and it has been damaged.

“Nobody knows who is responsible. It is distressing to hear about this. I cannot understand the people who did this. They are wrecking people’s pleasure.”

See full story in the Leader

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