VANDALS as young as EIGHT have trashed a Greenock nursery school garden in a 'sickening' spree of destruction — leaving young children heartbroken.

They smashed up equipment at the Blairmore pre-five facility — including a playhouse and a climbing castle — during a four-hour rampage.

CCTV footage of the entire incident has been passed to Greenock police and is understood to also show four boys hurling large stones over a back wall, with no idea of where the rocks would land.

Nursery head teacher Marie Crawford said: "It's just sickening because the children really love playing and learning out here in the garden.

"I'm so angry — there's just no reason for it.

"They smashed up our playhouse and the climbing castle is completely destroyed and will need to be replaced."

The trail of destruction is so bad that the garden is currently a no-go zone for the 56 youngsters who attend the nursery.

Three-year-old Aurora McSorley said: "Why did they break it? They've been really bad. I feel sad about it."

Headteacher Mrs Crawford said: "Stuff that was inside the playhouse has been scattered.

"Stones were thrown all over the garden and also over the wall at the far end. They could have struck and injured anybody walking by, or damaged cars.

"I think this could be the fourth time this has happened in the last couple of years.

"The garden will be out of commission for a couple of days at least."

Mrs Crawford added: "The children are really upset.

"They are here between 9am and 3pm every day, so it's important that they get out for part of the day.

"They have a mud kitchen and they enjoy lots of physical play.

"There's a mini beast area where they can explore, dig and learn, and a sand pit too.

"The janitor uses perspex to replace the windows in the playhouse now instead of glass because, sad to say, we know it's only a matter of time before it happens again."

It is understood that CCTV footage shows boys from mid-primary school age to secondary within the garden area between 3pm and 7pm on Sunday.

They were seen banging on the windows of nearby houses as well, according to eyewitness reports.

Janitor Tom Kelly sighed: "Kids think they can get away with it because they're kids."

Colleague Colin McKenzie said: "I think I've repaired that playhouse half-a-dozen times now."