VANDALISM inflicted on a new children’s forest school in Evesham forced the eagerly-awaited first session using the facilities to be cancelled.

Youngsters at Orchard and Spring Vale Children’s Centre were left bitterly disappointed when it was discovered the newly-developed area created for their forest school had been damaged.

The vandalism at St Richard’s Coppice, Four Pools, Evesham, was discovered on Wednesday, January 30, and the children were told they would not be allowed to go outside to use the new forest school as a result.

Children’s centre manager Karen Green said: “Parents and children were very upset by the vandalism and that the first session was cancelled. Increasingly children are spending less time playing outside, which can lead to a reduction in physical activity.”

The new outdoor area, including a tyre swing, dens, willows tunnel, tool area, fire pit, seating area and digging pit, was built by funding from Worcestershire County Council and Wychavon District Council.

When staff inspected the site they discovered damage to the fence and wooden planks surrounding the fire pit and rubbish strewn across the site.

It is thought the damage will cost about £100 to repair but Wychavon District Council, which owns the coppice, plans to fund the costs.

Ms Green added: “We promote outdoor play and have a welldesigned garden at our centre, but this site offers families even more opportunity to explore and experience their natural environment.”

The children’s centre is now planning to run its first session involving the forest school in a couple of weeks.