Skye Edge allotments: Anger as arsonists return to torch structure near Sheffield estate

Angry allotment owners want action after yet another building was razed to the ground on their site.
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Firefighters were called out to Sky Edge Allotments in the early hours of this morning after arsonists had set another shed alight, leaving it burned to the ground after its owner, who is in his 80s, had started to rebuild it after a previous blaze.

It comes at a site where around 350 pigeons in total are believed to have died in two separate fires to have hit pigeon lofts at Skye Edge fields in the last year, including a fire at the end of April which is thought to have killed over 100.

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Neil Jenkinson, whose pigeon loft was destroyed at the allotments in a fire last year, said: “They have been back again. There were no birds this time, but the building has been burned to the ground.”

Allotment holders are angry after another building was torched on the Sky Edge Allotments. Picture shows the wreckage caused by a fire there last month.Allotment holders are angry after another building was torched on the Sky Edge Allotments. Picture shows the wreckage caused by a fire there last month.
Allotment holders are angry after another building was torched on the Sky Edge Allotments. Picture shows the wreckage caused by a fire there last month.

He said the latest shed belonged to a man aged in his 80s. It had previously been burned, and the man who owns it had rebuilt it – now it had been burned down again, this time to the ground.

He added: “He had worked really hard on rebuilding it. There are five buildings left on the allotments now – there used to be 14. We’re now petrified there will be more burned. The council need to put up a security fence.”

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said; “Two fire crews from Parkway and Birley Moor stations were called out to a deliberate fire involving an out building on an allotment at 12.40am on Skye Edge Road, Sheffield. The crews left the scene at 2.15am.”

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Mr Jenkinson had previously told The Star how he and an official at the pigeon club had asked Sheffield Council for help to clear up the site before the latest fire, only to be told it was their responsibility.

It is nearly a year and a half since Sheffield Council set out plans in January 2022 to tackle what council officers said at the time was ‘significant’ anti-social behaviour at Skye Edge fields, including fly-tipping and arson. Those plans included creating secure boundaries to keep out 4x4s and ‘reduce opportunities for fly-tipping and fire-starting’.

Lisa Firth, the council’s director of parks, leisure and libraries, said last week: “We are sad to hear about the fire that caused the death of a number of pigeons at Skye Edge fields. We are keen to continue to work with everyone involved to resolve any current issues and to have further discussions about the future support that is needed.”