VANDALS have broken down a tree planted in a school playground in memory of a former headteacher.
Members of staff at Ysgol y Waun in Chirk were left shocked and “absolutely gutted” when they came into work on Monday to find the sapling red magnolia tree had been snapped off.
The tree had been planted as a memorial to former headteacher Judy Griffiths, who died last year.
Mrs Griffiths had taught at the Chirk junior school for 40 years until she retired in 2011. Thirteen years of her tenure were as head.
She died after a battle with illness in 2012 and staff and children at the school decided to plant the tree as a fitting tribute to their much-loved friend.
Staff are said to be “angry and upset” by the display of vandalism.
Jean Thompson, who works in the school’s administration office, said: “Red magnolias were Judy’s favourite so we decided to plant one as a memorial to her.
“It was a lovely display and we placed logs all around it so it wouldn’t get damaged when the grass was being cut. Now it is ruined.
“I’m so upset – the tree has only been in the ground since April.
“It’s disgusting that anyone could be so heartless to do such a thing.
“It was thriving in the garden and we were told it would flower in the spring.
“I hope this nags on someone’s conscience and they admit to what they have done,” she added.
The school, which was amalgamated in 2012 and has about 300 pupils, has another memorial to Mrs Griffiths indoors in the form of a fountain.
However, staff are keen to replace the tree so the memorial can take shape once more outside.
“Red magnolias aren’t cheap and this memorial came at a cost to the school, so we are appealing to anyone who may be able to help us find a red magnolia to maintain Judy’s memorial site”, Mrs Thompson added.