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Vandals trash St Michael’s Church of England Primary School garden

By Vicky Castle

Cruel vandals targeted St Michael’s Church of England Primary School in an attack that ripped apart the after school gardening club’s display.

The pre-school, which shares the same site, has also been affected, with toys thrown across the outdoor playing area and an expensive buddleia plant donated by a parent ripped from the ground.

It’s not known how many vandals were involved in the sickening attack on the plots at the school in Ashford Road, St Michael’s, which is currently closed for the summer break.

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The garden has been trashed
The garden has been trashed

The mindless damage was discovered by Monica Walton, who runs the school gardening club, is a PTA leader and a foundation governor at the school.

Mrs Walton, 58, said: “I can’t even put into words how I feel, I’m heartbroken for the children. They come every week during school time, starting from young children all the way up to Year 6.”

The club’s birdhouse has been knocked over and smashed, plants including beetroot and runner beans have also been ripped from the soil.

Mrs Walton, who has a grandchild at the school, said: “We have a lady who is a carer who comes and takes the runner beans to some of the old people she cares for.

“They are used by people who need them and this makes the children smile.

“I can’t have the children come back to school and see this - they will be absolutely heartbroken.”

A couple of windows of the greenhouse have also been popped out.

Mrs Walton says they have no option but to sweep up the mess and start the patch again, meaning pupils will return to school after the summer holidays in September to bare flowerbeds.

Carefully tended plants have been pulled from the ground
Carefully tended plants have been pulled from the ground

It’s believed the vandals entered the school via a secure gate.

Mrs Walton, who lives in Grange Road, added: “Someone will know who did this. They will have told somebody, and I would like to know who that is.”

Each year, the school holds an end of year barbecue where vegetables and fruit grown by the gardening club are enjoyed by pupils and staff.

Mrs Walton added: “We’ve made jam from the strawberries we’ve grown for the party. It’s just really upsetting.

“We have grown the plants ourselves, what’s happened is very disappointing.

Plant pots have been overturned
Plant pots have been overturned

“I have an idea of who might have done this.

“I would guess it is youngsters who have nothing better to with themselves.

“I think they have just gone on a mad rampage of destruction.”

This latest incident is the second time this year that a school in the Tenterden area has suffered an attack on its garden.

In March this year we reported how vandals had entered the grounds of Tenterden Junior School and trashed a wildlife garden.

The pupils there were left heartbroken and in tears after spending a year to create the garden.

The news sparked donations from gardening groups and parents to restore the pupils’ hard work.

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