CHILDREN and staff at Lochies School were left "devastated" after mindless vandals targeted their playground area last week.

Toys, tables and planters were overturned and left in complete disarray during the incident, which happened sometime between Thursday and Friday, June 29 and 30.

Some of the youngsters had been growing their own sunflowers in the playground and were due to take them home the day the damage was discovered.

However, the seedlings were completely destroyed at the hands of the culprit or culprits.

Donna Wheater, headteacher at Lochies, said: "We were just really devastated. Devastated because the staff and children and a lot of the local community who support Lochies School have been working really hard to improve that small area.

"We've had a lot of donations of lovely wooden toys and donations from the local Dobbies store with plants and planters.

"It was just really disappointing to come in and see this – especially since we are Clackmannanshire's primary school for the most vulnerable of children who have severe and complex additional support needs."

The Advertiser understands Lochies, as well as the neighbouring Deerpark primary, have been the target of vandals for some time now, despite efforts to curb the behaviour.

"With the support of the local council, we've done a lot to secure the area", Ms Wheater said.

"It's a courtyard playground enclosed by fencing; we've put heavy duty padlocks on the gates. The council have very kindly applied anti-vandal and anti-climb paint across the top of the fencing and along the roof."

However, some people still managed to get in and cause havoc with Ms Wheater adding: "I don't think it was opportunistic. There are young people in the community who we do know can get access to this enclosed area. We do feel a bit targeted."

Officers were called to investigate, with a Police Scotland spokesperson confirming: "Police in Alloa are investigating after playground equipment was vandalised at Lochies School, Sauchie.

"The incident happened between Thursday, June 29, and Friday, June 30.

"Anyone with information that can help officers trace those responsible is asked to contact local officers on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting incident number 0709 of June 30."