Titchfield garden store steps in to help rebuild Gosport school garden

THANKS! Neil Jackson and Caroline Fielder with Elson Junior School pupils. Back row, from left, Diane Coleman, eight, Kristy Nordkvelle-Combs, nine, Kelsey Mill, nine, Erin Tanner, nine, and Tia Adams, eight, and front row, from left Amy Taylor, 10, Emma Charleston, 10, Jimmy Edwards, eight, and Carra Tanner, seven.     Picture: Steve Reid (112355-738)
THANKS! Neil Jackson and Caroline Fielder with Elson Junior School pupils. Back row, from left, Diane Coleman, eight, Kristy Nordkvelle-Combs, nine, Kelsey Mill, nine, Erin Tanner, nine, and Tia Adams, eight, and front row, from left Amy Taylor, 10, Emma Charleston, 10, Jimmy Edwards, eight, and Carra Tanner, seven. Picture: Steve Reid (112355-738)
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CHILDREN who had their school garden wrecked by vandals are celebrating after generous garden centre managers offered to replace their destroyed plants.

Pupils at Elson Junior School were devastated to find yobs had pulled up almost a dozen shrubs they had planted in their school’s green areas.

As previously reported, it was the second time vandals had destroyed the hard work of the school’s gardening club.

Now Garsons garden centre, in Titchfield, has offered the children £100 to spend in their store to replace the damaged shrubs.

Caroline Fielder, who runs the gardening club, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled they have come forward to help us out like this. The children just couldn’t believe it.

‘The fact that somebody was willing to come and help us out like that is amazing.

‘They are already asking me “when can we go and pick out new things?”. They are just so happy about it.

‘A couple of the plants are really damaged and we will have to replace those with new ones and this will be a big help.’

The money will be used to buy new flowers and shrubs to replace the ones broken by the vandals.

Mrs Fielder also hopes to have new plants in other parts of the school, including their new allotment.

Neil Jackson, deputy manager at Garsons, said: ‘Garsons is a small business and we rely on our local community. So we like to help out where we can and some of our staff probably have children who go there.

‘We have a lot of empathy here for the children at the school because of what happened.

‘It’s pointless. What does anybody stand to gain from doing something like that?

‘Having green spaces helps with their learning and also creates a positive atmosphere.’ The youngsters had arrived at school on the morning of June 22 to find plants from their flower bed near the school entrance had been pulled up and strewn across the grounds overnight.

And months before, when the school first took delivery of the materials needed to create the plant areas, vandals slashed open the bags of wood chippings and soil.

The shrubs cost between £8 and £10 each and were bought using money donated by the school’s parent-teacher association.