A BARROW school has slammed heartless vandals after they broke into the school and destroyed the children’s Hallowe'en pumpkins.

Staff from Dane Ghyll Community Primary School said vandals broke into the garden tended by the children at the school on Skelwith Drive.

Mindless yobs destroyed a number of the pumpkins that were grown in preparation for Hallowe’en and were set to be carved after the children return from half-term next week.

A decorative owl which lives in the garden was also trashed.

While school staff have been able to salvage some of the pumpkins, they said it was "a huge blow" to everyone who put in so much time to make sure the children enjoyed Hallowe’en.

Louise Postlethwaite the school gardener was the first to discover the destruction. She said: “Seven months of the children’s hard work has completely gone to waste.

“The children planted the pumpkins themselves and picked them for carving last week.”

Peter Mills, the headteacher at Dane Ghyll Primary said: “We’re really disappointed about what’s happened. The children will be very upset.

“The garden is a big part of the school and the community in Barrow.

“A lot of effort from everyone has gone in to supporting what we do with the garden.

“It’s such a shame that some individuals have done this.”

Mr Mills is now appealing to local businesses for help in replacing the damaged pumpkins before the children return to school on Monday so they can still enjoy carving them next week.

He said: “If any businesses in the area feel they could support the school and help us out with such short notice, that would be much appreciated.”

Cllr Alan Pemberton, who represents Hawcoat ward on Barrow Council, said: “It’s shocking. I don’t know what satisfaction anyone can get from smashing something that children have spent so long working on.

“The mentality of these kind of people really has to be questioned.

“I don’t know what the world is coming to when people decide to do things like this.

“I’m very sorry to hear about what has happened, and I hope the children still get to enjoy some kind of function next week.”

The school has reported the incident to the police who have vowed to investigate.

In the past the school has won a variety of awards for their prized garden.

They have won awards at the Cumbria in Bloom competition over the years, including best garden.

They were also declared the best garden in the borough for both 2017 and 2018 by Barrow mayor, Cllr Bill McEwan.

Most impressively the garden was named the best garden in the whole of the north as part of the Better Energy School Award.

Some of the children went to London to collect the award and were rewarded with a free trip to London Zoo.