See video of firefighters tackling blaze which destroyed outdoor classroom in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park

The blaze completely destroyed an outdoor classroom used by dozens of Suffolk school pupils. Picture

The blaze completely destroyed an outdoor classroom used by dozens of Suffolk school pupils. Picture: JOHN RICHARDSON - Credit: Archant

An investigation is underway into suspected arson after a thatched outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park was burned to the ground.

The burned-out thatched hut in Christchurch Park. Picture: ARCHANT

The burned-out thatched hut in Christchurch Park. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Firefighters from Princes Street were called to the park’s Bolton Lane entrance at 8.15pm yesterday to reports of a blaze.

The fire – which took just under an hour to put out – broke out in the outdoor classroom in the park’s David Mapus-Smith orchard, close to the children’s play area.

The thatched hut had been used by pupils from primary schools across Suffolk – but has now been completely destroyed.

It was build by craftsman Richard King, who runs the Magic Garden Shed company, and was paid for by the Papworth Trust and Friends of Christchurch Park.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “We are extremely upset by this – the building has been completely destroyed.

“This was a valuable resource for so many people and now it has gone.

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“We shall now sit down and discuss what happens next but at the moment the overwhelming feeling here is one of shock.”

Police confirmed this morning that an investigation is being carried out into the cause of the fire.

Remains of the thatched hut in the David Mapus-Smith orchard. Picture: ARCHANT

Remains of the thatched hut in the David Mapus-Smith orchard. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Crews can be seen tackling the flames in the video above taken by eyewitness John Richardson.

Stay with us for updates on this developing story as we receive them from the emergency services.

Fire crews tackle a blaze which sparked in a wildlife hut in Christchurch Park. Picture: JOHN RICHAR

Fire crews tackle a blaze which sparked in a wildlife hut in Christchurch Park. Picture: JOHN RICHARDSON - Credit: Archant

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