Children have lost the only green space where they were able to practise football after grass at The Level was churned up by the recent funfair there.
The head teacher of Fairlight Primary and Nursery School, in St Lawrence Road, Brighton, said that pupils had no other outdoor green space in the area.
Fairlight head Damien Jordan said that The Level was left a muddy quagmire for the second time this school year, preventing his keen young footballers from practising on Friday mornings.
Mr Jordan emailed Brighton and Hove City Council about the problem – and praised his pupils for reaching the finals of the Sussex Schools Brighton Cup.
He said: “Not bad for an inner-city school with no playing fields where three quarters of the children have little if any outdoor space where they live (and) where over half the children are pupil premium or have EAL (English as an additional language).
“Our football is learnt on the street, in the playground or on a Friday morning before school at The Level. You may have seen us playing football at 8am in the morning at The Level.
“Well, it would be if The Level wasn’t once again destroyed by the pointless (not) funfair.
“For the second time this school year, The Level is now out of action for over a month. I am not sure if you have seen it this week. It looks like a scene from War Horse.
“The fair being on The Level means the local community have little if any access to the grass facilities for several weeks at different points of the year.
“And this time, once again, the state of The Level after the fair has left now means it will be out of action for weeks, if not longer.
“For inner-city children, this outdoor space should be prioritised to be used as much as possible and for activities that are free.”
Mr Jordan also spelt out worries about problems with anti-social behaviour, saying: “The Level should be a celebrated and prioritised space. It has, in recent months, had rapes and stabbings.
“There have been consistent problems with drink, drugs and homelessness, rubbish, flooding – the list of problems with this park is huge.
“Yet for us, this is our space. And we love using it. And we feel safe there.”
Mr Jordan, who was born and raised in the city, questioned why the fair was needed when the Palace Pier had a fairground all year round.
He added: “My Nan used to moan about the cost of the fair and how she was spending her hard-earned money from the launderette she worked in on a fair that then moved on and wasn’t part of the city.
“Who were we going to give the fish back to when it died! Parents at Fairlight are saying the same.”
The council said: “We understand the concerns about the current condition of the ground at The Level.
“We have been particularly unlucky with the weather this year and we have more mud than we would usually expect. We will be working to improve the surface as quickly as possible.
“We believe it is important for our open spaces to continue to reflect the needs and aspirations of all our residents.
“We actively maintain outdoor spaces for sport, exercise and other recreational activities – particularly for children and schools. Sometimes spaces get muddy because of use and we continually repair any damage.
“The twice-annual funfair at The Level has been run successfully for 60 years now by a local operator. We believe this success clearly demonstrates there is still a significant desire from local people for it to continue.
“We can also assure residents that the operators of the funfair take their responsibilities to the park very seriously and do their best to reduce impact.
“The funfair is timed to meet the key annual grass-growing season. We always seek to minimise damage as much as possible.”
Festival Fun Fairs was approached for comment.