Heartbroken teachers and children at a Glenrothes school have appealed for help in catching heartless vandals who destroyed seven years of hard work in one evening.
Staff at Pitcoudie Primary arrived at school on Wednesday morning to find a scene of devastation after local youths targeted a communal garden which has been tended to by dozens pupils over the years.
A memorial bench to Logan Carrie, the youngster tragically killed on the A92 in February 2015, was one of two wooden benches broken up and dumped in nearby woodland.
A specially made wooden locomotive planter, which was chosen by classmates and members of the school’s Parent Teacher Association due to Logan’s love of steam trains, had been moved elsewhere and has remained untouched.
However, planters and pots have been smashed, plants put down for the winter have been pulled up, tyres were removed, fruit from fruit trees was taken, the roof of a playground shelter was damaged, and other items have been tossed around.
“We just arrived in the morning to see this carnage and we don’t know who has done it,” said P6 teacher Craig Thomson, who has been heavily involved in developing the communal garden area.
“All the youngsters were devastated to see what had happened, but our message is that we’re not going to let whoever’s behind this defeat us.
“The garden has been up and running for seven years and lots of children have spent a long time making it a peaceful and rewarding place to visit.
“We made the first bench in 2010 and there have been many classes who have added to the garden over the years and who have done a lot of work on it.
“We’ve managed to get it to a point where it was looking really good but now we’re back to stage one.”
Mr Thomson added that it appeared the culprits had tried to set fire to the benches in nearby woodland, with Bonfire Night approaching.
“That’s what we’re thinking but because the benches were varnished they couldn’t set it alight and have just left it,” he continued.
“It took two grown adults to move the bench, so there must have been more than a couple of kids involved.”
Mr Thomson went on to reveal that the school has had various offers from local individuals and businesses offering to help repair the damage, and thanked everyone who has posted messages of support on social media.
Head teacher Carole Storrs was first to discover the damage when she arrived at the school on Wednesday.
“It’s heartbreaking for the children, they have worked so hard over the last few years to make the garden area a nice addition to the school,” she commented.
“They are very upset by what has happened.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said officers are looking into a report of vandalism at the school overnight on Tuesday into Wednesday.
“Inquiries will be made into the full circumstances,” the spokesperson added.
“Anyone with information that can assist officers with their inquiries are asked to call 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”