Mindless vandals target Foundry Wood in Leamington

PCSOs and community group members inspect the damage caused by vandals at Foundry Wood in Leamington.

PCSOs and community group members inspect the damage caused by vandals at Foundry Wood in Leamington.

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Mindless vandals have targeted a community green space in Leamington damaging its workshop and burning down its compost toilet.

The vandalism, which also included smashed windows and the destruction of a wood burner, took place at Foundry Wood overnight on Sunday June 28.

The toilet had only recently been rebuilt in partnership with the Warwickshire Association of Youths Clubs (WAYC) SAFE Youth club based nearby at the Westbury Centre.

The youth club are running a series of forest skills activities in Foundry Wood over the summer holidays and will now be without facilities on site.

Ryan from the SAFE youth club said “It’s been fun helping to build this compost toilet and we were looking forward to using it this summer when we were up here learning forest skills.”

Kristie Naimo, chairman of the Friends of Foundry Wood group added: “We are devastated to see damage to the woodland….this is a community space to be enjoyed by all and it’s such a shame to see a few spoiling this for others.”

Warwickshire Police are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious on Princes Drive on Sunday June 28 or Monday June 29 morning to report this to them as part of an ongoing investigation.

Security to the woodland has been improved and the Friends of Foundry Wood are looking at more long term solutions with neighbouring Network Rail and both the police and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service

The Friends of Foundry wood group is looking to make good the damage done as quickly as possible, so that summer activities can continue as planned.

It has launched a ‘local giving’ campaign to raise funds to repair the railway wagon and install a replacement (non-flammable) Compost Toilet.

Foundry Wood has been open for just over two years, and now has around 2,500 visitors a year. The wood is a charity and is co-managed by The Friends of Foundry Wood and ARC - a community interest company.

The land is leased from Trilogy Developments, on a peppercorn rent for 99 years.

The wood is used by school groups, brownies, guides and scouts, local youth groups, forest schools, and a mother and toddlers group.

Events range from wildlife walks, theatre, film and music events, community parties, pizza-making, craft activities and talks on the history or the site and its surroundings.

It is also visited by families, dog walkers, joggers, and many others.

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