Visitors to a Midland bird centre have spoken of their fury after an arson attack left it devastated.
The damage caused by the fire which destroyed the vistor centre at the Sandwell Valley RSPB reserve, Tanhouse Lane, West Bromwich, will run into tens of thousands, it is estimated.
Police have launched an appeal to find the culprits as it emerged thousands of schoolchildren visits could be affected.
Managers, volunteers and visitors to the site reacted with anger and sadness at the attack which happened during the early hours of Saturday with one man calling for the arsonists to be strung up.
The centre was undergoing a £120,000 refurbishment when the fire broke out at around 2.30am on Saturday.
The centre’s RSPB manager Lee Copplestone said back-up facilities were being sought until the damage could be repaired.
He said: “It’s very sad. We’re looking at contingencies now.
“We probably have 3,000 children a year come through the education programme. The local support has been brilliant with people offering commiserations and support.
“We have a fantastic team of volunteers here who are the lifeblood of the place.”
Lee added he hoped the centre would come back bigger and stronger in the future.
Volunteer Alf Hill, 65, said the gutted building, which lost most of its roof, was a terrible sight.
He said: “A lot of people put a lot of time and effort into this place.”
Witnesses to the fire are asked to call police on 0845 113 5000.