VOLUNTEERS at a wood in Witney said they are saddened after vandals destroyed part of an outdoor classroom.

The area in Deer Park Wood was installed by volunteers who developing the 11-acre site in 2010 for the community.

It has been used by local residents walking their dogs and going for picnics and is available for local schools to use for lessons.

But after the latest spate of vandalism, volunteers said such incidents put the future of the park in danger. Witney Woodland Volunteers chairman Terry Ewart, pictured at the scene, said: “Someone walking past said it was just a matter of when it happened, not if. So you do something in a beautiful secluded area and just have to wait for things like this to happen.

“There comes a point when there is no longer any point to volunteering.”

The land has been leased by volunteers since 2010, with housands of saplings have planted and the outdoor classroom doubled up as a picnic area.

Fires have been started on the land before but have never been this destructive.

It is believed about 50 wooden stakes were taken from around the area, along with protective guards, used to stop deer and dogs getting to the plants.

They were placed in between two large logs and set alight, with some form of accelerant being used.

The seats will now have to be replaced at a cost of more than £200.

Anyone with any information should call police on 101.

Picture: OX53570 Marc West