EX-PUPILS are believed to have trashed a school's 'reading garden' which children had excitedly helped to design and raise and money for.

Vandals targeted St James CE Primary School in Farnworth sometime over the half-term holiday with the destruction being discovered when it reopened this week.

The school community say they have been left saddened by the willful act ­— especially as it is the second time the area, designed to spark children's imagination and nurture their love of reading, has been targeted.

Just over a year ago, thieves broke in during the first lockdown to steal the furniture in the garden, which children had chosen especially for the space.

This time the yobs scaled the roof to get into the grounds and the reading garden.

St James CE Primary School reading room

St James' CE Primary School reading room

In a statement urging residents to be vigilant, the school said: "It is with sadness that I write this.

"Unfortunately, during the holidays somebody decided to ruin our Reading Garden, as you can see in the photo.

"The staff work very hard to make our school a happy, welcoming and interesting environment for our St James family. When things like this happen, it is devastating to us all. It is even more upsetting when there are reports that this damage is caused by young adults who previously attended our school and are still scaling the roof on a regular basis.

"It is very dangerous to climb on the school roof, as displayed on signs around the school. We wouldn't want anyone getting injured.

"If you see anyone on the school roof please report it to 101, so we can keep everyone safe and happy."

Reading room vandalised at St James CE Primary School Farnworth

Reading room vandalised at St James' CE Primary School Farnworth

The school’s Eco-Team has helped develop the garden.

The young people started fundraising for the garden in the summer of 2018, selling smoothies and ice-pops.

A “Wear it Green Day” was also organised, in which the whole school took part.

Pupils efforts brought in £782.84 for the garden and which included a donation from the school’s Parents Teachers Association.

Children were said to be so excited in helping to decide what furniture would look best in the Reading Room.

The school caretaker also helped to develop the garden and took on the role of painting the garden, putting down astroturf and putting up bird boxes, with Eco-Club leader, Gemma Thomas designing the sign and the flowers on the walls as well painting it too over the Easter Holiday last year.

The Reading Garden was designed to develop children’s love of reading.