Wrecking spree at allotment is condemned

The burnt-out caravan on the allotment owned by Stephen Foster and his family at Stubshaw Cross
The burnt-out caravan on the allotment owned by Stephen Foster and his family at Stubshaw Cross

A furious allotment plot holder has condemned “mindless vandalism” after yobs went on a shocking wrecking spree at the plot owned by his family.

Youths are thought to have torched the caravan and smashed almost every pane of glass in the greenhouses and sheds on the site looked after by Stephen Foster and his mum.

The rampage occurred at the allotments in Stubshaw Cross some time last week and Stephen, from Ashton, could barely believe the devastation when he visited the plot last weekend.

He said the damage is so bad his 71-year-old mum is now considering giving up the allotment after the family have tended it for 40 years.

A resident on nearby Bolton Road spotted the flames and smoke from the now-destroyed caravan and rang the fire brigade. He also told Stephen he saw a group of young people running away from the site on Wednesday evening just after 8pm.

Stephen, 45, said: “It’s just mindless vandalism by delinquent youths and children, basically. I don’t see what they get out of it.

“They’ve set fire to the old caravan where we sat and made a brew on cold days and completely gutted it and they’ve smashed the majority of the glass in the two greenhouses and the shed. It’s just a mess.

“When I turned up on Saturday there were also two gas bottles near the caravan and it would have been a different story if they had gone up.

“My mum is absolutely devastated. She’s now talking about giving up the allotment, she’s had enough.

“We’ve had that plot in the family for about 40 years. It belonged to my mum and stepdad and then after he passed away we kept it going. We’ve put a lot of hard work into it.

“The resident who rang the fire brigade said he saw between eight and 10 youths dressed in dark clothing running off.”

Stephen says he has reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and is urging anyone who was in the area near the allotments on Wednesday evening and saw anything to contact the police.

He is also now calling for stronger fencing to be installed along the boundary of the allotment, particularly where plots including his own are adjacent to Stubshaw Cross Labour Club’s car park, in order to keep out people who should not be on the site.

Anyone with information about this incident can ring GMP on the non-emergency number 101.