Anger at Balmedie as vandals trash school garden

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PUPILS and teachers at Balmedie Primary were left distraught last Thursday, after discovering that vandals had wrecked the eco-garden they have been building.

The fenced structure at the rear of the school was broken into some time on Wednesday evening, with the vandals tearing down fence panels and chickenwire, digging up plans and breaking animal feeders. In addition, artwork produced by pupils in anticipation of the ceremony was ripped down.

The garden, which had been constructed as part of the school’s environmental awareness programme, was being overseen by P7 teacher Katherine Katlow, who told the Times that the damage had left her - and the children - distraught.

“We’ve been working really hard over the past weeks preparing the garden for a grand opening ceremony, which was to be held next week,” she said. “The damage means we’re going to have a lot of work to do putting the garden back together.

“There can’t be any justification for attacking a school garden that so much hard work has gone into. It’s sheer, mindless vandalism.”

A group of pupils who serve on the school’s eco-committee visited the garden on Thursday morning to see the damage for themselves. Difficult to fix will be some of the uprooted plants, which were pulled out of their beds and dumped.

P7 Eco committee member Sam told the Times that the attack was hugely disappointing for the youngsters.

“We spent a lot of time working on the garden for people to come in and vandalise it,” he said.

Headmaster Ken McGowan told the Times: “We’re all really gutted. The pupils have been putting in a huge effort. The police have been really good, though, and are taking the matter really seriously.

It is understood that a local parent witnessed the attack, and was able to identify members of the group. The vandals are described as being in their teens. Police are investigating.