A community garden scheme, which has been recognised as one of the country’s finest green spaces for three years running, has been severely damaged from an arson attack.
A Place to Grow, in Mill Lane, Enderby, was attacked by vandals on Saturday afternoon (19th January).
They attacked the Mill Lane plots at about 4pm.
The fire service, which was called to a blaze in a portable cabin, said the fire was started deliberately.
A police spokesman said they were investigating suspected arson and a number of break-ins at the site.
The fire left the two large sheds completely gutted, water butts and a metal container that held a large amount of garden tools including lawnmowers, strimmers, spades and forks.
One of the sheds was purchased and installed last year by Blaby Rotary Club, thanks to generosity and support from the local community.
The garden is managed by Community Action Partnership, working jointly with Blaby District Council.
Alyson Oliver, Business and Operations Manager at Community Action Partnership, said:
“This is absolutely devastating, all that remains are bits of metal that used to be garden tools scattered on the ground.
“A Place to Grow is a lifeline for some people who would most likely be in hospital if it wasn’t for the project. Our clients report feeling less depressed and more motivated and it’s extremely upsetting to see all their hard work destroyed like this.”
The garden project was originally set up to help people suffering from mental health problems, but now provides support for a wider range of groups across the district.
People with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and school children have all benefitted from the innovative scheme.
The aim of the project was to increase physical activity through gardening and to promote a better understanding of the contribution outdoor exercise can made to a healthy life.
Councillor David Clements, Corporate Services, Performance and Leisure portfolio holder, said:
“It is an utter disgrace that this has happened. A Place to Grow is a fantastic example of how local people, voluntary organisations and local authorities can work together on a project that benefits the whole community.”
For more information on A Place to Grow or how to get involved in the project contact Community Action Blaby District on 0116 272 7669.