VANDALS have struck at the Greenlands allotments, smashing open sheds, destroying crops and wrecking chicken runs.
Kate Hazard-Smith discovered the destruction, the third time in three weeks that the allotments have been targeted this summer.
“It’s really upsetting,” she said.
“A pickaxe and a lump hammer were left lying around. My chickens were running around and the run between them had been smashed.
“My chickens had a 5ft fence around them but they know they’re there now and to think they may come back and hurt my chickens is very upsetting.”
Kate wasn’t the only victim; shed locks had been smashed and fruit and vegetables, almost ripe for picking had been destroyed.
“They’ve broken down sweetcorn, smashed squash and tomato plants – I’ve been down here for 13 years now and it’s the same every year at this time and it’s getting worse.”
The allotments have a 6ft high security fence and anti-crime paint but this has so far failed to stop the vandals.
“We’ve a whacking great housing estate overlooking us and someone must have seen something but they’ve just ignored it,” added Kate.
She said the allotments used to have a good thick hedge around it, but this had been chopped down by the council.
Another allotment holder said they had asked the Borough Council to put barbed wire across the top of the fence, with no success.
“Factories and offices can put it up but the council says they might be liable if someone hurts themselves on it,” she said.
“The thing is, these vandals, if they wanted a basket of veg or something we’d give it to them for free, there’s no need to come in here and smash everything to bits.”
The break-in happened sometime over Sunday night, August 19 and Police are appealing for any witnesses or details of the crime.
They can be contacted on 101. In the meantime Kate has moved her chickens to a safe location.
A council spokesperson said: “We were saddened to learn the allotments had been broken into and vandalised.
“We hope to hold a meeting with the allotment users to discuss ways we can help make the site safer.”