Towerbank Primary vandalism: Children devastated after vandals tear apart school wildlife garden for beach bonfires

Children at a primary school in Edinburgh have been left heartbroken after vandals tore apart their wildlife garden.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:39 pm

The hard work of pupils and teachers at Towerbank Primary in Portobello was undone by mindless vandals who stripped wood from animal and insect habitats to fuel beach bonfires at the weekend.

Head teacher Alasdair Friend said he is gutted for the children and staff who worked hard to create the wildlife garden.

He told the Evening News: “There were a lot of bonfires on the beach at the weekend, and people have jumped through the fence and removed every bit of wood they could from the wildlife garden, presumably to burn on a bonfire.

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“The main thing destroyed was our ‘bug hotel’, which is a structure the children had built from wooden pallets to create a place for insects to live.

"Sadly, that no longer exists. It was wired together and was firmly attached, but the whole thing has just disappeared.

“We had another bit of fence we were getting repaired – and even that has gone.

“All the work the children put in to create the wildlife garden and encourage animals and insects to live in the school playground has been wasted.

Towerbank Primary School's 'bug hotel' before it was ripped apart for bonfire fuel.

“Granted, the bits of wood stolen have no real monetary value, but these vandals have destroyed things the children invested time and energy in as part of their learning. That's the really disappointing thing here.”

Mr Friend said the kids and staff only discovered what had happened when they arrived for school on Monday morning.

He explained: “Obviously the children were very disappointed when they discovered what had happened, but it was really surprising for the staff as well.

“After all, the ‘bug hotel’ was a big structure – and it just wasn't there any more.

The empty space after yobs stripped the 'bug hotel' apart for wood to use on beach bonfires.

“Nobody was really sure what had happened at first, but it became apparent there has been lots of bonfires on the beach over the weekend.

“Luckily, whoever did this didn't attack the nursery playground on the other side of the school, because there are a lot of things there that could have ended up on the bonfire.

“Our worry now is that this part of the school will be targeted next time.”

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