COMMUNITY group leaders say they are “disgusted” after thieves swiped brass plaques from a children’s outdoor classroom.
Eight plaques used by children to learn about different types of birds have been stolen from the wildlife garden at Lock Lane in Castleford.
Four of the plaques – which cost £200 and were bought with money raised by the town’s youngsters – are believed to have been dug out of stones in the outdoor classroom between Saturday April 21 and Sunday April 22, with a further four taken between 12.30pm and 4.30pm on Monday April 23.
Wendy Rayner, chairman of Lock Lane Community Group, which helped launch the garden, said: “It took us nine years to get this garden and we work every day to improve it.
“We had some plaques in the open-air classroom with information about birds, so that when children came down to the garden they could do brass rubbings.
“They were educational, they taught children about history and things like that are hard to teach these days. It’s absolutely disgusting, these people can’t have any feelings, they’re just seem to want to take things. We’re really upset about it.”
She added: “Children raised money to get this garden done. It’s a space wehave created, we don’t fece it off, or lock it up. We leave it open for people’s pleasure.
“There are few places round here to sit and watch birds feeding.”
Insp David Bugg of Castleford neighbourhood policing team (NPT) said officers were investigating the incidents.
He said: “We are investigating the theft of eight brass plaques. A suspect subsequently tried to sell one to a scrap dealer who refused to buy it and contacted the police. Inquiries are ongoing to track down those responsible.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the NPT on the non-emergency number 101.