Popular Sheffield visitor centre disturbed by petty crime

Theft and vandalism at Heeley City Farm.'The basket swing - which is barely a year oldfrom the new playground - has been vandalised and the basket part of it had been stolen. Some of the hand grips on the climbing wall have also been taken.

Theft and vandalism at Heeley City Farm.'The basket swing - which is barely a year oldfrom the new playground - has been vandalised and the basket part of it had been stolen. Some of the hand grips on the climbing wall have also been taken.

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Staff at Heeley City Farm are distraught after arriving to work to find the farm’s basket swing has been stolen - the third act of vandalism at the farm in the last month.

Barely a year old, the popular swing has been vandalised and the basket stolen.

Events coordinator Sarah Hardy said: “It’s frustrating, not so much for us but for the people who we do these things for.”

She said: “We get funding for projects that will help the local community - and a small minority spoil it for them.”

Vandals also broke two windows of the The Farm Kitchen cafe just two weeks earlier.

The vandals later returned to prise off the boards put up by staff to prevent glass falling through.

Sarah said: “They are hurting their own neighbourhoods by doing these things. We don’t have the money to replace it so that’s another resource ruined.”

Staff believe the thieves may have been trying to get to cash inside a tractor ride - which is emptied of all money every evening by staff anyway.

Heeley City Farm is an environmental visitor centre in the heart of Sheffield and regularly holds events and activities for families.

It is less than a year ago since the playground was opened to youngsters at the Sheffield attraction.

Much of the original work which went in to building the playground was done by children doing work experience.

A playhouse, slide and climbing wall were big hits, while the swing - which could fit several children on at one - was the favourite.

Sarah said: “The children who use the playground love the swing.

“We have adults on supported learning here with autism who love to use the swing as a way of calming themselves when they are upset. It’s horrible for them more than anything.”

Staff at the farm have alerted police and are urging the public to call 101 if they know anything about the acts of vandalism.