A Turriff playgroup has asked the public to “stop damaging” their beloved outdoor learning area, after it was subjected to vandalism recently.
The Turriff Pre-School Playgroup uses a small clearing in the Haughs as a learning space and has adapted it to help their children learn and play in nature.
They have used logs as furniture, and helped to craft birdhouses and feeders with the help of the local Men’s Shed.
However, the area was set alight twice this week, with the fire service coming out on Monday night and again on Tuesday morning following reports of logs being on fire.
Now, a spokeswoman from the playgroup has revealed their “disappointment” that such a well-loved part of their learning environment had been damaged twice.
She said: “Our children love this area as they can run about and climb and use the environment however they want to.
“As a playgroup, we don’t have an outdoor area connected to the premises so we take the children to this bit twice a week and they really enjoy themselves.
“It’s just disheartening and disappointing that something like this happened as its our only outdoor area.
“It offers lots of opportunities for the kids to play as it’s beside a hill and a stream.”
The area is open to the public, with staff members of the playgroup regularly checking it to make sure it is safe for when their children go down.
A CCTV sign is in place, which is there to deter people from damaging any of the items there.
However, bird feeders have still gone missing from there, and insect homes are often thrown into the stream, along with some of the logs used as play equipment.
The recent fires are the worst acts of vandalism seen so far, according to the playgroup.
The spokeswoman added: “We have 24 children aged between three and five and they love to get messy when they play down there.
“It is time-consuming for us cleaning up the mess made by others so we want to ask people to please leave the area as they found it and stop damaging it.
“It was a big mess on Tuesday when we went down and although we managed to replace most of the logs, it’s still disappointing.
“We do not want our children to miss out due to mindless vandalism.”
We would like to thank everyone for the kind offers of help and support it is very much appreciated. The logs in our…
A fire service spokeswoman confirmed that they had been called out to deal with logs that were set on fire at about 6.20pm on Station Road in Turriff.
One appliance attended, with firefighters using canvas buckets to extinguish the flames.
They then left the scene at about 6.40pm.
If anyone has any information about these fires, you can contact police on 101.