Frustration as thieves and vandals target town allotment

Julia Lane from the town council and Peter Kent of the Daventry Allotments and Gardens Association.
Julia Lane from the town council and Peter Kent of the Daventry Allotments and Gardens Association.
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Allotment holders have been left angered by the theft of produce and damage to plants and sheds on one of the town’s sites.

Several items of home grown fruit and vegetables have been trampled on, other items have been stolen while windows on sheds have been broken.

The holders believe the site, at the end of Orchard Street on Drayton, has been targeted by the vandals 10 times since August 22.

Peter Kent, the general secretary of the Daventry Allotments and Garden Association, said: “It has been enormously upsetting for many of the allotment holders to come in and find a lot of their produce damaged or eaten.

“The people who did this don’t appreciate that it takes six months to grow the fruit and vegetables and with this action all of that hard work has just gone down the drain.”

All of the allotment holders the Daventry Express spoke to asked to remain anonymous as they fear reprisals from the vandals.

But one said: “Before I went on holiday, I came down to my allotment and had a plum tree which was nearly ready to be picked. I said to my husband that the fruit would be ready when we return.

“I came down here after my holiday to see all of the plums gone from the tree.

“It is really upsetting to think that someone could do this with not a thought from the people they are taking it from.”

There were also a number of flowers trodden on or ripped up in the attacks.

Another allotment holder said he has seen one of the vandals taking produce and was even eating when he saw him.

He said: “I was up here one night and saw one of them with some sweetcorn in his mouth.

“When I asked him what he was doing, he just looked at me as if he had done nothing wrong.

“It is just a bunch of kids going round doing this.”

Another allotment holder, who has also had vegetables damaged said: “I have been growing pumpkins and the kids have just come in and stepped on them. It’s a real shame.”

Daventry Town Council, which looks after the allotments in the town, has said it will be looking at ways to make the site more secure following the incidents.

A spokesman said: “The town council is reviewing the security on its allotment sites and seeking cost effective solutions to prevent incidents of this nature occurring on a regular basis.”

One of the allotment holders gave the news a cautious welcome. He said: “I am not sure whether it will make a difference and stop this from happening. However, anything that is done to improve the security on the site has to be welcomed.”