Sheffield community gardens hit by arson attack

Parson Cross Community Garden, which has been hit by a vandalism and arson attack.
Parson Cross Community Garden, which has been hit by a vandalism and arson attack.
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The chairman of a Sheffield community garden said he was ‘gutted’ and considered resigning after the self-funded plots were targeted in an arson attack.

Vandals ripped up and burned benches, trees and fencing at Parson Cross Community Gardens in Parson Cross, off Buchanan Road.

Fire crews had to put out the fire and police are investigating.

Michael Frith, chairman of the community-run garden plot, said: “When I got the phone call to say there had been a fire, my stomach turned.

“I felt gutted. 
“I was considering resigning as chairman.

“They ripped up and burned an apple tree, overturned some water collection tubs, ripped out and burned benches, and they ripped apart a shelving unit which is used for people to grow seedlings.

“I don’t know who has done it.

“It’s a big blow. Because obviously, we put in a lot of hard work in to keep it looking nice.”

A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the blaze had been started deliberately.

Fortunately, the children’s play area was not damaged but Mr Frith is worried the £10,000 worth of play equipment could be targeted by vandals in the future.

He said: “I am worried that if whoever did this comes back, they could target the kids’ play area.

“That was installed after a Hallam FM appeal raised £10,000. 
“If that went up in smoke then we would really be struggling to replace it.”