Arsonists put woodland at risk in mindless attack

Reporter:

Matt Jones

VANDALS trashed a woodland school and put acres of woodland at risk when they started a forest fire.

Due to the dry conditions the fire started at the Plast Derw Trust in Northop threatened the nearby woodlands.

The vandals also damaged a shelter frame, burnt benches and stole a £170-nature camera used by children.

The trust, which provides outdoor education to schools and groups across Flintshire, was also targeted by vandals when its Carwys site was attacked twice last September.

School spokesman Anjela Jones said hard work by volunteers, including those from a homeless shelter, had been destroyed in the “sickening” attack.

She said: “Yobs put the whole of the Northop woodland at risk by lighting a dangerously big fire which could have easily set the whole woods alight in the current abnormally dry conditions.

“They lit a massive fire which could have easily got out of hand.”

Police sent crime scene investigators to the site who were able to lift fingerprints from several items left at the scene, and security has been stepped up at the site.

Miss Jones said: “The camp had recently been developed as the result of a project working with young volunteers from across Flintshire and it was sickening to see all their hard work disrespected.

“The yobs damaged the structure of the shelter frame, used up a stock of firewood, burnt the benches and stole a nature camera strapped to a tree which was set up to capture nocturnal wildlife, which is used to educate the children and young people who visit the woods.”

Staff spent a day making repairs and getting the camp ready for the first session of the term on Thursday.

A police spokesman said they were investigating the matter, which it is believed may have occurred over the bank holiday weekend, and said anyone with information should contact the police on 101.

See full story in the Leader

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