Vandals hit gardens again - but Sidmouth flower organisers say ‘we’ll fix it’
PUBLISHED: 12:29 30 April 2018
The organisers of Sidmouth in Bloom say they won’t let vandals deflect them from defending their title this year after more damage was reported at Connaught Gardens.
In the latest incident tulips were trampled, windows smashed and a motorbike was ridden through flower beds. A bin lid was dropped over the cliff edge.
Lynette Talbot, chair of Sidmouth in Bloom, said: “This is dreadful. It’s been going on since the end of last year, a mass of youths – quite young – getting together and drinking and doing things they shouldn’t be doing.”
The team work closely with East Devon StreetScene who have been dealing with a spate of incidents at the prestigious gardens.
Cllr Tom Wright, East Devon’s portfolio holder,hit out at the young people involved.
“It is a great shame that this wonderful, much loved and nationally recognised garden is trashed by mindless idiots. I wonder if parents have any idea what these young people are getting up to?” he said.
The Council says it has ambitious plans for the Gardens. It may also consider staff patrols or mosquito noise devices to deter antisocial behaviour.
Last year Sidmouth won the title of ‘best small coastal town’ in Britain in Bloom. It has enjoyed an enviable run of success in the competition including many gold awards.
Over the Easter holidays visitors complained that Connaught Gardens weren’t looking as good as they had in previous years. As well as the vandalism the gardeners have had to cope with the late Spring this year.
Lynette Talbot said a few youngsters were giving the rest a bad name. Her organisation works closely with local schools to foster an interest in horticulture.
“Every year we have had vandalism but our attitude is we get in there and fix it,” she said.
“If young people want to help us do some weeding and make up for what others have done to give them a bad name we welcome them.”
The next working party for Sidmouth in Bloom will be going out on May 2. They are meeting at the Post Office box in Market Place at 9.30am.
More details are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.