Vandalism to Christchurch Park’s outdoor classroom branded deplorable and upsetting

Vandalism damage caused to the outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park

Vandalism damage caused to the outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park - Credit: Archant

A project which has made the final of the Creating the Greenest County awards has been attacked by vandals.

Vandalism damage caused to the outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park

Vandalism damage caused to the outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park - Credit: Archant

Wire netting was pulled off the thatched roof of the outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park while graffiti was also sprayed on its wattle and daub walls.

Funded by the Papworth Trust and the Friends of Christchurch Park the building was completed in September but is yet to be officially opened.

Joe Underwood, wildlife and education ranger for the Christchurch Park area with Ipswich Borough Council (IBC), played a large part in creating the classroom.

He said news of the damage, discovered yesterday, had been a huge blow.

“I’m gutted to be honest,” he said. “I have put my heart and soul into that over the last six months.

“I’m going to have to get the guy who did the thatch in to fix that up. As for the graffiti, it’s on wattle and daub and I don’t know if you can just paint over it. We might have to redo all that bit.”

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“It’s probably one of the best projects I’ve ever been involved with. We have had so many people put some form of effort into it.”

Nicola Johnson, chairman of the Friends of Christchurch Park, added: “It’s very disappointing, very upsetting to see such a beautiful building damaged in this way. ”

A spokesman for IBC spokesman said: “We deplore the mindless vandalism which has spoiled the new outdoor classroom. This was built by a charity and ourselves and will cause distress to people close to this innovative community space.

“We urge anyone who might have information to contact the police.”

Suffolk Constabulary said three people, described as white men in their mid teens to early 20s, had been seen in the area around the time the damage is thought to have taken place. They are keen to trace them.

Any witnesses should call 101 quoting CAD 180 of 17/03/2016.