YOUNGSTERS have been left heartbroken after yobs ransacked their school garden — and damaged play equipment.

Astroturf at Grosvenor Nursery School and Day Care Centre in Farnworth was ripped up and fencing damaged.

Nursery school head Sue Pounds said: “They have completely destroyed the outside space.

“This lovely space is for children with additional needs. The vandals didn’t know that but it makes it more disappointing.

“They ripped up the astroturf and tried to get it over the fence.”

The yobs broke in on Tuesday night some time after 8pm.

Mrs Pounds added: “They moved around all the play equipment, they threw some of it over the fence.

“The main piece of damage was the astroturf. It is ripped up, rolled up and ready to be pushed over the fence. They may try and come back tonight.

“We never dreamt that they would rip up the astroturf. They’ve spoilt it. We don’t know who did it but I’ve contacted the police and I’m asking the neighbours if they saw anything.”

Grosvenor Nursery School and Day Care Centre is a 65 place Local Authority Nursery School which also offers services for a small group of children with moderate to severe learning difficulties.

Mrs Pounds said: “The garden is for the children with additional needs, it is an enclosed space for them.

“It’s just a shame because it’s spoilt it for these children, they can’t use the area, they can’t play outside. They are the most vulnerable children.

“It’s going to be a while before it can get back to normal. We’ve shown some of the older children the photos and they’re horrified.

“One child has come up to us with a drawing of a plan to catch the baddie with a net, they’re really upset.”

Despite the damage caused by the vandals, Mrs Pounds has been impressed by parents’ response to the incident.

The headteacher said: “So many of our parents have volunteered to put it back together again. It’s been so lovely and reassuring to know that there are decent people out there.”

The vandalism has been reported to Greater Manchester Police. Officers are investigating the incident. GMP have been contacted for comment.