Pictured: Windows smashed, doors off their hinges – vandals go on rampage at York scout and guide centre

Another door is wrecked
4 Dec 2015 @ 7.16 pm
| Crime
Brute force, and possibly an axe, was used in the attack on the Snowball Plantation. Photographs: Richard McDougall
Brute force, and possibly an axe, was used in the attack on the Snowball Plantation. Photographs: Richard McDougall

This was the heartbreaking scene that greeted volunteers at York’s outdoor centre for scouts and guides.

Vandals had rampaged through the Snowball Plantation, smashing doors and windows. It is believed an axe was used to cause some of the damage.

They broke in to buildings and threw belongings off shelves and across the floor. Metal cupboard doors were buckled and plaster ripped off walls.

Windows were systematically smashed
Windows were systematically smashed
Inside one of the buildings a metal cupboard is attacked and the contents trashed
Inside one of the buildings a metal cupboard is attacked and the contents trashed

Every year thousands of scouts and guides stay at the Snowball Plantation, at Stockton-On-The-Forest near York.

Already one weekend event has been cancelled because of the vandalism. The 1st Holgate Scouts have called off their Oregon Beavers’ Carols Around The Campfire event.

The viability of other forthcoming events is being assessed.

The casing for an electricity meter is smashed
The casing for an electricity meter is smashed
A locked gate is wrecked
A locked gate is wrecked

The emergency services and plantation staff were called out at 4am on Friday morning (December 4) after an alarm was set off.

“They’ve made a right mess,” said Leah Raine, the lodge manager. She added:

It’s not just the money, although it will cost a lot. It’s the time.

We are all volunteers and it will take a lot to put right.

Devastated: Local Beaver leader Kath Shapcott (left) and lodge manager Leah Raine
Devastated: Local Beaver leader Kath Shapcott (left) and lodge manager Leah Raine
Another door is wrecked
Another door is wrecked
Countless thousands of York youngsters stay at the Snowball Plantation
Countless thousands of York youngsters stay at the Snowball Plantation

Set in 17 acres of woodland, Snowball Plantation offers a range of facilities, eight camping sites and two principal buildings.

Children from scouts, guides and other youth organisations stay at the centre use it for outdoor activities, recreation and education.

Forensic officers from the police have visited the site. It is not yet known whether anything was stolen.