Dagenham allotment plot repeatedly attacked by weed killer vandals

The damaged allotment plot

The damaged allotment plot - Credit: Archant

A gardener has been left distraught after someone repeatedly vandalised her allotment plot killing all the vegetables.

Esther Birku-Mensah says her corn, onions, potatoes, spinach and callaloo (a green leafy vegetable) have been attacked with branches and weed killer on a number of occasions over the past three weeks.

All the vegetables, at Bushway Allotments, in Bushway, Dagenham have been completely destroyed, according to nurse, who is tending the plot on behalf of a friend.

“The first time it happened, I came to the plot and found someone had put branches on the onions, ruining them,” she said. “I took them away, but when I went back in the evening they’d put the branches on the corn - destroying some of them. This time I took the branches much further away.”

A few days later Esther returned to the plot to find that someone had sprayed weed killer on the corn.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she added. “But that wasn’t the only time - they’ve been back a few times and sprayed the plot. It’s all ruined now.”

The 56-year-old, who said one nearby plot has been attacked but not to the same extent, has reported the vandalism to police, who explained there was little they could do.

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“I have no idea who it is, and don’t know why they would do this?,” she said. “Maybe it’s jealousy as the corn was some of the best around and people were admiring it.”

“It’s so cruel. I’ve put so much time, money and energy in to growing the plants and have got nothing out of it. It’s really sad.”

Esther told the Post she will not try and plant any more vegetables this year. “I can’t go through this again.”

Supt Int Mike Hamer of Barking and Dagenham Police said: “Given the hard work and pride that allotment gardeners put into their patches it is extremely upsetting when someone causes pointless damage. I encourage all allotment users to make sure that they know each other and can keep an eye out for anyone who doesn’t ‘belong’.

If you have information concerning these incidents please contact Barking and Dagenham Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.