Vandal attack leaves schoolchildren devastated after damage kills pond's wildlife
Schoolchildren have been left distraught after a vandal launched a double attack on their pond, draining it of water and leaving wildlife dead or struggling.
Pupils at Easington Church of England Primary School, in Easington Village, have been left upset after their nature pond was deliberately drained twice in recent weeks.
The pond at Easington Local Nature Reserve was created on the site of the colliery and was officially adopted by the school in 2018, naming it The Pond of Life.
It has become a favourite place to visit and is used in lessons and activities.
But a trench, deliberately dug from the pond, has twice emptied the water from it along with much of the wildlife including fish, frogs and endangered newts.
With fresh water pools rare along the Durham Heritage Coast, the pond is of great value to the area’s ecology.
The children have been left devastated, leaving them upset the animals have nowhere to live, with one youngster telling teachers: “Whoever is doing this is self-centred because they are not thinking about anyone else, especially the animals.”
The first time the pond was found vandalised, Durham County Council workers were close by and volunteered to fill the trench back in.
A dog walker, who alerted the school when it was found damaged for a second time, said the pond had been recovering nicely, filling up with all the recent rain and full of tadpoles.
Councillor Angela Surtees, who represents Easington ward on Durham County Council and one of the school’s governors, said: “I cannot understand why, on two separate occasions, the pond has been drained by someone who has deliberately dug a channel for the water to flow through.
“This was a pond teeming with wildlife, however, when I visited with the children after it was vandalised, we saw only a couple of tadpoles and a dead newt.
"No wonder they are so upset.
"I would ask if anyone knows who is damaging the pond to please report it and we’d also like to put out a plea asking people not tamper with it in any way.”
The reserve has undergone a transformation over the last 20 years and during lockdown, more people than ever enjoyed visiting the area.
For more information, please visit www.durhamheritagecoast.org.