Bognor community garden volunteers 'devastated' as work is vandalised

Community garders Kim Davis, Steve Goodheart and John Hawkins. Picture by Kate Shemilt
Community garders Kim Davis, Steve Goodheart and John Hawkins. Picture by Kate Shemilt

Gardening volunteers are seeking support from the local community following the alleged killing of more than 100 plants.

A flower bed on London Road, which is tended to by Bognor Community Gardeners, was completely destroyed in what is believed to be a deliberate attempt to get rid of the flowers.

Chairman of Bognor Community Gardeners, Steve Goodheart, said the plant bed had been brimming with ‘all sorts of flowers’ but had spotted something was wrong last weekend.

He said: “It’s been done in a way that all the flowers have been killed off.

“I couldn’t believe it – it was devastating.

“If you came down this way you would immediately see a hundred off plants that have been individually targeted by a weed killer of some sort.

“Someone doesn’t like what we have done.

“We were aiming for it to be a wild flower meadow.

“The idea is to get some form of soft planting so that we could improve the gateway to Bognor.”

Steve said he would be delivering a note to local residents to find out if anyone saw anything ‘peculiar’.

“If it’s a local person who doesn’t like what we have done then I will give them an opportunity to come and be part of it,” he said.

The letter being sent to residents says the community gardeners have been working around Bognor for ‘many years’ but the group had never had issues with ‘the deliberate destruction of plants’.

The note ends: “If we have upset anyone with our work, it would help us top know why, maybe you could let us know at Grandad’s shop.

“We are dropping a letter around the local residents asking if anyone is upset by the planing and to let us know so we can work together going forward.”

With support from the community, Steve hopes to replant the flower bed by the end of the summer.

“It is really to create opportunities for bees and other pollinators.

“The bees need all the help they can get and the more diversity we can get out there, the better.

“We are really helping ourselves in a way.”