Volunteers left devastated after vandals targeted a memorial garden in Northampton twice in two days have said they will not be defeated by bullies.
The garden next to The Brookside Hall at Lings Local Centre in Billing Brook Road was set up in memory of the late deputy chair of Brookside Residents’ Council, Cathy Ansell, after she died last year.
On Monday morning, volunteers were greeted with a devastating scene as flowers, plants and roses had been pulled up and left strewn around the area. They worked hard throughout the day to replant as many flowers as possible. But yesterday morning they arrived to find the area completely stripped bare, leaving them in no doubt it was a targeted attack.
Project manager, Hazel Smith, said the volunteers who had joined forces to repair the damage after the first vandalism included those from sheltered housing and pensioners.
“After the first incident, they chose to not report the damage as they put it right as they didn’t want to give into nameless and faceless bullies by giving them free publicity.
“But the second time, they discovered that the garden had been completely torn up and destroyed. Not a single plant remained. It was obviously a targeted attack and they must have disappointed that we managed to restore the garden after the first attack.
“The destruction of so much of the garden of an estimated value of £600 and three years of award winning work by those who have donated time and plants was too much to ignore,” she said.
The police have been informed and CCTV images will be looked at to find the culprits.
“We are a long term project and we are not going to let anyone deter us from restoring the memorial garden to the pleasant place it had become,” she added.
Since news of the attack spread, the community and nearby businesses have offered to help.
“I am so sad that someone can feel so angry at defenceless gardeners that they took such cruel actions to destroy three years of loving hard work
“I would just like them to come forward to tell us why they felt that way and is there anything we can do to make it better so they feel a part of the community.
“We are an all inclusive club regardless of ability. We are friendly open and welcoming. We just want to make the area a welcome space to spend time with family and friends and the whole community benefit from a cleaner greener space for relaxation and play.”
Chairman of the Brookside Community Association, Ifty Choudary, has offered a £50 reward for any information leading to a successful prosection and can be contacted on 07887 751135.
Anyone with information can also call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
If you can help with the memorial garden, please call the secretary of the BRC Community Gardening Club, Margaret Pritchard on 01604 412012.