A group of seven year olds have been left upset by “mindless” vandals who destroyed the “hotel” that they made for creepy crawlies.

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Pupils from Cromer Junior School, on Norwich Road, returned to school on Monday after their half term break to discover that their treasured bug hotel had been destroyed. Three newly-planted fruit trees had also been snapped.

Headteacher Steve Godson said he was shocked at the “mindless action”, which had ruined more than two weeks of year three work.

He said: “They pushed the younger children’s work and destroyed it - now it has to be rebuilt. The trees were snapped right off and they will not regrow.”

A bug hotel is made up of lots of small spaces with different shapes and sizes made from different materials, such as reclaimed items and natural objects.

The junior school built the structure in October last year and it took the entire year three class to erect it.

Mr Godson said: “It’s sad from our point of view as we teach children here to respect other people’s property but it’s also sad for all the pupils who have had that work ruined. When we get some time we will rebuild it.”

He added that a former pupil’s parents and grandparents had offered to buy more trees to replace the damaged ones and also appealed to anyone with information to come forward to help the school find the vandals.

He said: “The people who did this need to realise what impact a few minutes of mindless action had on a lot of people who are very young - the kids are upset.”

A comment on the school’s website said: “How sad and pathetic that someone finds it pleasing to destroy the work of seven year olds and the habitat for many creatures. To follow that by snapping the recently planted fruit trees can only be described as mindless.”

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman confirmed that the police were investigating reports of criminal damage at the school.

● The incident took place between Friday June 2 at 5pm and Monday June 5 at 9am. Anyone with any information or who may have witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the area is asked to call the Cromer Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.

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