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Vandals trash much-loved Sunnyside Community Gardens in Hornsey Rise

PUBLISHED: 12:57 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:20 11 September 2019

Damaged plants

Damaged plants

Heartless vandals destroyed a much-loved community garden in Hornsey Rise on Monday evening.

Walls of polytunnel slashedWalls of polytunnel slashed

Sunnyside Community Gardens in Sunnyside Road was so smashed up it looked like a "hurricane had hit", according to one volunteer.

Police were called after vandals ripped out plants, stole others and ripped the polytunnel - while human excrement was also found on the grounds.

The polytunnel is used by the garden's volunteers to grow plants from seed, helping to raise money to run a forest school and nature club for small children as well as a green gym and cook and grow classes.

Manager of the gardens Anna Portch said: "The polytunnel is not usable anymore.

floor of trashed polytunnelfloor of trashed polytunnel

"With the cold weather on the horizon, this is a big loss to us".

Sunnyside Community Gardens opened in 1977 after a campaign by locals.

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It became a registered charity in 1992 and features an organic garden designated as a site of importance for nature conservation.

It also has a plant nursery and its volunteers manage the Peace Garden in Elthorne Park.

"It was as if a hurricane had hit the place," said Jasmine Pearson, a volunteer who helps to look after the small allotments and polytunnel where the attack took place.

"The polytunnel was ripped, plants pulled out or stolen, pots scattered all over the place, human excrement left on site".

The timing of the attack was particularly cruel as volunteers have just finished a complete makeover of another part of Sunnyside to create the new Morris Family Garden, which is due to be launched on September 27.

"This was senseless destruction," said Arabella Weir, star of Two Doors Down and the Fast Show, who is on the management committee of Sunnyside.

"Fortunately, the local community is already rallying around and plans are afoot for a fundraising drive to raise money for a replacement polytunnel so we can continue providing gardening activities for the local community".

Anyone who wants to help or donate can get in touch with the committee at sunnysidecommunitygardens.org.

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