Sheffield allotment arsons prompt security meeting

Jeff Walker's fire-damaged allotment
Jeff Walker's fire-damaged allotment
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Allotment holders are set to meet councillors, police and the fire brigade tomorrow at an emergency meeting following a spate of arson attacks at plots in Sheffield.

The open meeting has been organised to discuss gardeners’ concerns after two allotment sites – at Marsh Lane and Hagg Lane in Crosspool – were hit by vandals just days apart.

Last week arsonists burned down a shed belonging to 70-year-old Jeff Walker, who has had a plot at Marsh Lane since the 1980s.

The shed, used as a meeting place for gardeners, was left completely destroyed, and Jeff said he was so upset he was considering giving up his favourite pastime.

A similar wrecking spree earlier happened at Hagg Lane, where a hut was set alight and sheds broken into.

Jeff said he was pleased the meeting had been arranged and that he hoped better security arrangements could be agreed.

“We’re hoping more police patrols will be sorted out,” he said.

“We’ll be talking about getting the footpath that runs through Marsh Lane Allotments closed off, too.”

The gardener said he still felt ‘very thankful’ for a gift of £1,000 from an anonymous donor who read about his plight in The Star.

Offers of a new shed and a greenhouse have also been made by well-wishers.

“Little by little we will get there, we will rebuild it,” said Jeff. “What happened still hurts, though.”

Tomorrow’s meeting, at St Columba’s Church, Crosspool, starts at 10am.