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Sunnyside Community Garden ‘targetted by mindless vandals’

'It was such a sad and shocking thing. They trashed it all.'

16 September, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Anna Purtch outside the polytunnel 

VOLUNTEERS were distraught when they discovered their community garden had been broken into and vandalised in a “mindless” attack this week.

Jasmine Pearson stopped by the Sunnyside Community Garden’s plant nursery near the Elthorne estate on Monday evening to find that the Polytunnel had been “slashed” and the plants inside kicked about and destroyed.

Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused and vegetables that were due to be sold on Sunday had to be thrown away.

The plant nursery after it had been attacked 

Garden manager Anna Purtch said: “It was such a sad and shocking thing. They trashed it all.

“You can see it was people by the thin slash marks, but no one saw them.

It was just a mindless attack which destroyed years of care and work.”

The 1.5-acre garden is open 24/7 and contains a renowned frog spawning pond.

It was opened 41 years ago after a campaign by residents. Ms Pearson had been on her way to the garden’s committee meeting when she stopped by the plant nursery.

“I couldn’t believe what I was looking at,” she said.

Supporters of the garden rushed down and set about clearing the mess.

Ms Pearson said: “It was really heartening to see how many people supported us.

“This garden has helped me through quite a difficult time. It clearly means a lot to others as well.”

A crowdfunding page has been set up aiming to raise about £2,000.

To donate go to or you can email the committee at

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