Portsmouth’s primary school garden is wrecked by fly-tippers

NOT HAPPY Headteacher Alan Patten with teaching assistant Amy Wheatcroft and pupils, from left, Mathew Buxton, Elyssa Harmon-Lea, Jake Fisher, Eden Merret (kneeling), Jasmine Morgan, Aiden Ennis and Emma Wren.     Pictures: Sarah Standing '(111704-2875)
NOT HAPPY Headteacher Alan Patten with teaching assistant Amy Wheatcroft and pupils, from left, Mathew Buxton, Elyssa Harmon-Lea, Jake Fisher, Eden Merret (kneeling), Jasmine Morgan, Aiden Ennis and Emma Wren. Pictures: Sarah Standing '(111704-2875)
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AN ANGRY headteacher has condemned fly-tippers who wrecked a school garden that had just been given a make-over.

Alan Pratten, of Cliffdale Primary in North End, said he was shocked to return to work yesterday to find car parts, rubbish and building tools scattered all over the 50ft by 30ft green enjoyed daily by his pupils as well as youngsters from The Willows children’s centre.

MESS Junk dumped at Cliffdale Primary.  (111704-2825)

MESS Junk dumped at Cliffdale Primary. (111704-2825)

The garden is a source of pride for the special school as it boasts a pond, an allotment and a meadow of wild flowers which attracts a range of wildlife including slowworms, great crested newts, a kestrel, a fox and birds.

Mr Pratten said: ‘I’m incredibly angry that this has happened – it is inconsiderate and has left our children confused and sad.

‘We’ve been working with The Willows to make it a fantastic area for all the youngsters to enjoy and recently we’ve been trying to make it more accessible for wheelchair users.

‘It’s a beautiful environmental spot, with wild flowers and a range of wildlife, and it is used every single day by our children.

‘But now the pond area and the back of the garden are covered with rubbish, cans, car parts and building tools.

‘It is heartbreaking to see this mindless act of destruction.’

Just last week, 16 volunteers from construction company Carillion spent two days sprucing up the allotment area and removing all the rubbish. Fortunately their good work was untouched by the fly-tippers.

Mr Pratten said his pupils have now set about designing ‘no fly-tipping’ posters to deter people using their garden as a dumping ground in future.

Matthew Buxton, nine, speaking on behalf of his classmates, said: ‘Whoever threw the rubbish should come in and have the rubbish thrown at them.

‘The fly-tippers are murderers of our lovely environmental area and the animals that live there.

‘Babies throw their toys on the floor – these grown-ups are acting like babies.

‘They might have gone to school but they didn’t learn about good and bad behaviour.’