Staff at Riselaw Rd Playcentre in Dunedin are frustrated at the destruction of a vegetable garden they and their pupils have been cultivating for the past 18 months.

Celery, broccoli, parsley and cabbages had been growing in the garden before it was damaged. It was the second time in recent weeks the garden had been vandalised.

Lead educator Liz Wilson said the children had been learning about healthy eating and the garden was an important part of that. She said she was disappointed those responsible for the damage had hampered a learning opportunity.

Mrs Wilson said those responsible should respect the children's right to learn.

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"I just can't believe someone would damage something that 2 and 3 and 4-year-olds have worked on."

Mrs Wilson encouraged those responsible to "stop and think about what they are doing".

She said, after a considerable amount of work, the pupils would miss the chance to reap the rewards.

"They have done the work and they are missing out on the harvest."

- ODT