Nursery children investigate theft of scarecrow Grimley

jpco-7-8-13 Todlers and workers at Toad Hall Nursery with their vandalised scare crow(Pic by Jon Rigby)

jpco-7-8-13 Todlers and workers at Toad Hall Nursery with their vandalised scare crow(Pic by Jon Rigby)

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Nursery school children successfully carried out a missing scarecrow appeal after it was stolen from their garden and strewn through the town.

Children at Toad Hall Nursery, Massetts Road, spent two days building their scarecrow just weeks before it was stolen from the nursery’s front garden vegetable patch on Tuesday last week (July 30).

jpco-7-8-13 Todlers and workers at Toad Hall Nursery with their vandalised scare crow(Pic by Jon Rigby)

jpco-7-8-13 Todlers and workers at Toad Hall Nursery with their vandalised scare crow(Pic by Jon Rigby)

Nursery manager Pippa Clark, 30, said a trail of straw along the road was all that was left of their beloved ‘Grimley’.

She said: “It was so sad. There was a trail of straw going off into the town.”

The children followed the trail in the morning and found Grimley’s head in a bush but could see no other trace of their hand-made companion.

The children spent all day Wednesday making posters and posting them around the town appealing for anyone with information.

Pippa said: “It was really disappointing especially as he had only been out there a couple of weeks.

“We’ve got three other scarecrows out the front the children made and we are worried they will be stolen. It’s not something you should have to worry about.”

The scarecrow was wearing a shirt, trousers and a straw hat which had all been bought from charity shops or donated so Pippa assumed he had been stolen for his clothes.

The Police attended the nursery that afternoon.

Pippa said: “Police officers came down to see me and said they probably wouldn’t be able to find it.

“Then just minutes after they left Sarah came back from her walk with the children with the scarecrow in two pieces.

“She had had to get down in the stinging nettles to retrieve him.

“The children were really really happy. We had him in three pieces - head, body and trousers. The next project is to put him back together again.”

Pippa said the experience provided a lesson about crime.

She said: “We have had to talk to them about how it’s important not to take things that aren’t ours.

“They’ve learnt how it feels to have someone take away something of yours.”

New manager’s plans for success

Pippa Clark joined the nursery in June with seven years experience managing nurseries in Horsham and Haywards Heath, both of which she brought up to ‘Outstanding’ in their Ofsted reports. Pippa has made it her priority to make the front garden of the nursery look attractive. She wants to improve the environment for the children and increase occupancy.