Pupils left heartbroken as hours of work are ruined by vandals at a high school garden
PUBLISHED: 09:29 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:36 06 June 2018
Neatherd High School
Vandals have left pupils at a Dereham high school “disappointed and heartbroken”.
It comes following an attack on Neatherd High School’s garden, off Norwich Road, during the half term holiday.
As well as plants on the allotment being ripped up and planting beds disrupted, a polytunnel was also slashed with a gardening fork multiple times.
Teacher Stewart Anderson runs the gardening club and said it was the third time in three years it had happened.
“Members of our community have deliberately vandalised a fantastic project within our school,” he said.
“Pupils have put hundreds of hours of hard work into the garden, which has now suffered a severe setback as we are going to struggle to harvest any crops before the summer holidays.”
Neatherd’s school garden has been running for five years and has produced a variety of crops including chillies, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, marrows, potatoes, garlic, onions, broad beans, and Brussels sprouts. All the crops are taken home by gardening club members or given to the school canteen.
The attack has also caused another blow for the club as it is now unable to present at next week’s inspection of the Food For Life Gold Award. This has run for a number of years and is one of only three secondary schools in the country to have it.
Clarissa Huxley, Year 8 pupil and club member, discovered the damage when she came in over the holidays with her father to water the plants.
“I felt really angry and disappointed,” she said.
“The pumpkin and sweetcorn plants were all pulled up and lay dead on the ground, and the plastic of the polytunnel had been slashed with a gardening fork.”
The club now needs new polytunnel covering, seeds and established plants, tools, gloves, watering cans, gardening twine, a large water butt and compost in order to continue.
Mr Anderson added: “We would be very grateful for any donations as the insurance won’t pay for the damage as it is below the excess fee.
“We will not let this stop our efforts to provide the school with an outstanding growing area for all pupils to be able to use.”
- If you are able to help or donate any of the items listed ring the school office on 01362 697981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.