Hundreds of schoolkids are heartbroken after mindless vandals trashed their outdoor play area.

Pupils arrived at Arkleston Primary, in Renfrew, on Friday morning to discover the spot dubbed ‘Beastie Street’ had been been wrecked in an overnight attack.

The children, particularly those in primary one and two, regularly use the area for classes and nature studies.

Their teacher, Lorna McManus, told The Gazette: “The children were really distraught when they came into school and saw all the damage. This has since turned into anger.

“They normally use Beastie Street on a Friday for play and learning and it’s something they look forward to every week.

“It’s situated outside the school but is part of the school complex and has been here for more than 20 years.”

Ms McManus said Beastie Street, which is next to a pond, is also used to help pupils embrace the environment.

The vandalism is believed to have taken place between 6pm on Thursday and 8am the next day.

Various features, such as a mud kitchen, were either smashed or knocked down, making it unsafe for the children.

Ms McManus added: “It’s a nice wee area that they can go to for classes – but not now.

“They do a lot of their outdoor learning there, climbing the trees and playing in the mud kitchen.

“This week, the children were particularly excited because they had brought in herb seeds which they planned to plant and then use for cooking at a later date.

“Sadly, Beastie Street has been so badly damaged that we are unable to play there safely.

“With Covid, we’ve been using this area more than ever and it is a real blow to the teachers and the pupils.”

The children later designed their own posters, which they paraded outside their local Tesco on Friday afternoon, appealing for help to fix Beastie Street and catch the vandals.

Teachers and pupils also contacted The Gazette to highlight their plight.

Six-year-old Darcy said: “I am feeling sad and angry about this, as I really like playing in the mud kitchen, making food and mocktails.

“We love climbing trees, having adventures and finding new bugs.”
Her five-year-old classmate Amber added: “I feel frustrated and annoyed, as my class had brought in lots of things to use in the mud kitchen this week, along with the wild garlic.

“I wanted to create more recipes but now we have no kitchen.”
After hearing about the vandalism a local builder offered to repair the damage free of charge.

Ms McManus added:”The attack on Beastie Street has also been reported to the police.”