Outdoor classroom badly damaged in Eastbourne school blaze

Photo by Dan Jessup SUS-180617-154554001
Photo by Dan Jessup SUS-180617-154554001

An outdoor learning area built for pupils’ enjoyment has been all but destroyed in a fire.

The structure in wetland belonging West Rise School in Langney was set alight on Friday night (June 15).

Photo by Alex Richards

Photo by Alex Richards

Police have been notified and are investigating after the blaze was said to have been started deliberately.

Chris Richards, farm manager at West Rise, said he built the structure with schoolchildren around nine years ago and it cost around £20,000 and two years to complete.

He said, “It’s a shame really, the structure’s been vandalised by some individuals when a lot of local residents and especially children get so much pleasure and enjoyment out of that area, and it’s now deemed unsafe for use.”

Mr Richards said he had been told four youths were seen setting fire to it.

Photo by Alex Richards

Photo by Alex Richards

He said, “It was made for the children as an outside learning environment. A lot of children have done some beautiful work in there and appreciated it.

“It’s a shame that the other children who have joined the school may not be able to appreciate it now.

“I think it’s beyond structural repair with the financial implications it has.”

If you have any information about the incident, call Sussex Police on 101 or online.

Photo by Dan Jessup SUS-180617-154607001

Photo by Dan Jessup SUS-180617-154607001