Delight for children as stolen owl sculpture is returned to playground

Children at a primary school have gone from devastation to elation after an owl sculpture was stolen but then returned to their playground.

Someone entered the grounds of Holton St Peter Primary School, near Halesworth, and sawed the wooden sculpture from a tree stump last Thursday night.

However, the children's upset at losing their beloved statue was turned to delight this morning when it was returned overnight following appeals through the EDP and Beccles and Bungay Journal website.

Head teacher Jean Righton said the teachers and children were happy to have their statue back.

She said: 'It is amazing. I got to school and the cleaner said to me 'have you seen it?' It was there exactly where it had been cut down from.'

She added: 'We've all been jumping up and down, and there have been lots of hugs. The children are elated.

'Hopefully somebody somewhere felt guilty and decided to return it, so there is a happy ending.'

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Since the sculpture was stolen the children had been playing the role of detectives, looking for clues, while an appeal was made on the Beccles and Bungay Journal's website.

Parent Linda Cayley added: 'After the owl was stolen the children spent all there time being detectives trying to help find it and they kept saying 'when our owl is returned' so it is brilliant that their faith and optimism were not destroyed.'

The statue was carved by a local artist after the PTA paid for it, and has become a popular feature of the school.

It perches on the remains of a Chestnut tree that had to be felled five years ago.

The owl has now been temporarily removed as they find a way to secure it.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said they were grateful that the owl had been returned and asked anyone with any information to call PC 265 Beckwith at Halesworth on 101.

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