HEARTBROKEN children at a York nursery have seen part of their new garden and nature area destroyed by vandals.

A willow arch, which was created with money from a council grant, at Ladybirds Nursery in Huntington, was destroyed after the vandals cut it along its full length.

Nursery manager Nina Simpson said it was unlikely the arch would be replaced because money from the grant had now run out.

She said the damage was noticed after the staff and children came back from their Christmas break.

“Somebody has cut all the top off so it’s not an arch any more,” she said.

“We lease some land from Joseph Rowntree School which we have developed into a woodland for the children to enjoy.

“It took a lot of creating and was really expensive to do. There’s no way we would be able to afford to do this again.”

“We got funding from the Government but that’s been drastically reduced now.”

She said: “The children are saying ‘we don’t have a tunnel now – the naughty girls and boys have broken it’.”

The area is also used by local Cub and Rainbow groups and there is access for the public through the nearby church grounds, which Miss Simpson said meant people would congregate there on an evening.

“There are often crisp packets and empty drink cans,” she said.

“It’s obvious other people are using the area, which we don’t mind as long as they respect it.

“It’s a shame that an area created to improve the children’s outdoor experience has been damaged in such a way.”