Vandals lay waste to allotments

COUNTING THE COST: Louis Benny

COUNTING THE COST: Louis Benny

First published in Darlington The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Darlington)

ELDERLY allotment keepers have told of their heartache after vandals targeted plots, causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

Vandals struck at the allotments in Honeypot Lane, in Darlington, on Wednesday night.

They tipped up compost bins, slashed polytunnels, smashed greenhouse windows and uprooted carefully- tended vegetables in an overnight wrecking spree.

Thomas Hope, 82, has been growing vegetables on the allotments for more than 50 years and said he had never seen vandalism as bad.

He said: “I could not believe what I was seeing when I went up there on Thursday morning. It is disgraceful.

“We spend hours up there and a lot of what we have done is now ruined, a lot of the crops will go to seed because they have lost their protection..

“I have been coming here for a long time and of course we have had the odd bit of vandalism in the past, but nothing like this.

“There were prize leeks in there, which we had been growing since November, which are now no good.

“There was all sorts – cabbages, celery, dwarf beans, we can’t save any of it, the way it has been left.

“They have slashed the tunnels that were protecting all the crops – they are £40 or £50 each a sheet.

“The taps were left running, so all the paths are flooded.

“We will have to start afresh and try to salvage what there is left, but it is very disheartening. We have just locked it and shut the door for today – incidents like this make you wonder if it is all worth bothering with.”

Mr Hope works on the allotments with 74-yearold Louis Benny, who was equally angry.

Mr Benny said: “It is a right mess and I hope they catch whoever is responsible.

“What more can I say? I worked on the allotments every day for months – it just makes you very, very fed up.”

Police are investigating and a spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council, which runs the allotments, said an allotment officer would visit the site today to speak to plot holders and help get the clean-up operation under way.

􀁧 Anyone who could help restore the plots to their former glory is asked to call Andy Walker on 01325 505071.

Comments (6)

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1:02pm Fri 25 May 12

Idontknowaboutyoubut says...

My God !
As acts of vandalism go,this one is pretty nasty.They must know,that the allotments are tended by the elderly.I suppose it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that their own grand parents are among those affected by this.I dont know what punishment could be handed out to the culprits,if they are ever brought to book,but I dare say the victims have a few ideas about that.
My God ! As acts of vandalism go,this one is pretty nasty.They must know,that the allotments are tended by the elderly.I suppose it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that their own grand parents are among those affected by this.I dont know what punishment could be handed out to the culprits,if they are ever brought to book,but I dare say the victims have a few ideas about that. Idontknowaboutyoubut
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Fri 25 May 12

swissball says...

The location gives us all a clue!!
The location gives us all a clue!! swissball
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Fri 25 May 12

LazyB says...

This is downright criminal and I hope they are caught and strung up but then there is no respect for peoples property and no justice!!
This is downright criminal and I hope they are caught and strung up but then there is no respect for peoples property and no justice!! LazyB
  • Score: 0

12:59am Sat 26 May 12

Erasmus-0 says...

Honeypot Lane - 'nuff said. This town would be a much better place if that entire 'camp' burned down one night.
Honeypot Lane - 'nuff said. This town would be a much better place if that entire 'camp' burned down one night. Erasmus-0
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Sun 27 May 12

Spy Boy says...

Honeypot Lane Nuff said ???? These allotments have been there years and have just been attacked now, so I would guess that it wasn't someone from that area that did it. More likely someone who doesn't like them.
Honeypot Lane Nuff said ???? These allotments have been there years and have just been attacked now, so I would guess that it wasn't someone from that area that did it. More likely someone who doesn't like them. Spy Boy
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Tue 12 Jun 12

Darlo14 says...

Personally as much as I'd love to blame the travellers the man in the picture has a bit of a twisted family. He is ok but his two daughters and granddaughters are trouble and have annoyed enough people in there time so maybe it's payback. It's a shame like cos these allotment people spend so much time and energy on there allotments and it must be soul destroying to see them in this state. Hope the vandals get court.
Personally as much as I'd love to blame the travellers the man in the picture has a bit of a twisted family. He is ok but his two daughters and granddaughters are trouble and have annoyed enough people in there time so maybe it's payback. It's a shame like cos these allotment people spend so much time and energy on there allotments and it must be soul destroying to see them in this state. Hope the vandals get court. Darlo14
  • Score: 0

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