VANDALS have been causing havoc for the staff and pupils of Kirktonholme nursery in Newton Mearns.
The nursery has been plagued with multiple break-ins in the space of a week — with one resulting in the tadpoles the children have been looking after being killed.
The first incident was dicovered last Thursday morning, when staff arrived at 7am to find the nursery garden in a state.
Manager Linda McNair told The Extra: “It was clear that vandals had been in.
“They’d broken the windows on our playhouse and had been in there smoking cigarettes — there were lots of packets lying about. They’d upturned planters down on the learning area and made an absolute mess.
“We tidied it up, phoned the police, and the first crime report was done”.
Unfortunately, the staff returned to a similar scene on Friday morning, when the nursery’s eco-friendly greenhouse was discovered damaged, and by Monday, the garden’s teaching and learning equipment was strewn across the car park.
Linda continued: “Tuesday morning was the worst. The children have been learning about life cycles, using butterflies and tadpoles.
“We’d let all the butterflies go on Friday, and the tadpoles were next — we were taking them to the park to put them in the pond. But we came in to find all the containers upturned, all over our teaching area.
“Again there was a lot of damage — scooters thrown into trees and general disruption”.
Police have attended the scene after every incident, and officers now have the security code for Kirktonholme nursery, allowing them access to patrol the premises.
Meanwhile, staff at the facility have appealed to nearby residents to report any unusual incidents.
Linda added: “The damage these vandals are causing is totally disheartening.
“Staff and parents have been really involved in creating an eco-friendly garden, and right now it feels like we’re going one step forward and two steps back.
“We would just like to ask anyone in the community who sees people hanging around the nursery to pick up the phone and highlight it to the police”.
Chief inspector Alan Murray, area commander for East Renfrewshire, confirmed that police would be upping patrols in the area.
He added: “We understand it’s very distressing for the staff, and we’re concerned that such a premises should be targeted by this type of behaviour.
“We will be doing everything we can to track down the offenders and we’ll be patrolling the area regularly — including the premises itself — to prevent it from happening again”.