Teens urged not to spoil an outdoor classroom for Fife pupils

The youngsters have an outdoor education area in the forest and it has been trashed by vandals.  Pic: George McLuskie.
The youngsters have an outdoor education area in the forest and it has been trashed by vandals. Pic: George McLuskie.

Staff at a Cardenden school are calling on local teens not to spoil an outdoor classroom for pupils after finding the area regularly vandalised at weekends.

Youngsters at Denend Primary are making full use of the forest next to the school as part of their outdoor education programme.

The youngsters use the wooded area for activities. Pic: George McLuskie.

The youngsters use the wooded area for activities. Pic: George McLuskie.

The whole school and the nursery regularly visit the outdoor classroom to take part in various activities like den-building, making bird boxes and insect monitoring.

But the last few weekends staff have noticed broken bottles, broken glass and general rubbish including empty alcohol cans being left which potentially could make the area unsafe for the pupils to use.

A wheelie bin, which had been set on fire, was also discovered there recently.

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Rubbish has been left by older children. Pic: George McLuskie.

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Mick Mcmillan, class teacher, said: “I notice the mess every Monday morning when I go up to check the area. I have been in touch with our local community policeman who has promised to try to keep an eye on it but there’s been little improvement so far.

“We have been using the area as an outdoor classroom for three years and haven’t had any problems until recently when there has been smashed bottles and other mess. It is a real shame, especially as our wider community of parents as well as children have worked so hard to clear the area and make it useable for the children. We have created a wee classroom area and it is a perfect spot for us, now being spoiled by the selfishness of older children who seem to think nothing of the safety of their younger siblings.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The local officer who has regular engagement with Denend Primary School has been made aware of this matter and inquiries are continuing.”