VANDALS are being hunted after they targeted a school playground – causing around £2,000 of damage.

The culprits targeted the playground of Hatch Warren Infant School, in Gershwin Road, Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, on three nights over the Easter weekend.

While teachers and staff did their best to clean up the damage, parts of the playground were taped off to children when they returned to school after the Easter break.

Headteacher Michelle Moore said she first reported the vandalism to police on April 19, when she noticed that a large tractor tyre, donated to the school to be used as a drum, had been dragged from the school’s playing field to the playground.

She found more damage on the morning of April 22, when the school was closed for an inset day, and again the following day.

Mrs Moore said: “They smashed the back out of the gazebo, destroyed the children’s playhouse, threw toys on to the school roof, and broke roof tiles, and things had been set alight. We were lucky the gazebo did not go up because we found scorch marks on it.

“We are not very happy because for the younger children, the playhouse has been gradually destroyed by vandals. We have taken the decision that we will have to remove it which is a great shame for the children.”

Mrs Moore plans to contact the school’s insurers to assess the exact value of the damage.

Anyone with information which might help the police inquiry can contact the Basingstoke Safer Neighbourhoods team on 101.