Devon: Vandals target children’s fairy garden ‘smashing it to bits’

The garden was set up in 2019 as a ‘magical place’ for children (Picture: Lewis Clarke, Michelle Rowe/BPM Media)

A community has been left reeling after a fairy garden was discovered ‘absolutely smashed to bits’ by vandals.

Visitors to the garden, in Cullompton, Devon, discovered its fairy houses, toadstools and other decorations had been destroyed by vandals on Easter Sunday.

The garden was set up in 2019 as a ‘magical place’ for children to enjoy but since then has been targeted by vandals on six occasions.

The most recent vandalism saw bunting ripped down, ornaments smashed, the ground littered with fibreglass from broken decorations and debris thrown into the garden’s water features.

Iain Emmet, chair of Cullompton Community Association (CCA) said the damage was discovered at around 7.30am.

‘It was a right mess, and people were trying to tidy up,’ he told DevonLive.

‘They were trying to make it pleasant because the kids were queuing up to go in.

‘We couldn’t let them as fibreglass was sharp and dangerous, and it was a mess.

‘There was a load of stuff in the water, with our little decorative mushrooms thrown in.’

The fairy garden which has been wrecked by vandals in Cullompton

People discovered the garden had been wrecked by vandals on Sunday morning (Picture: Michelle Rowe/DevonLive)

Iain said despite being repeatedly targetted by vandals people had asked for the garden to be rebuilt.

‘People are now saying they want it to be redone,’ Iain said.

‘They’d like to keep it as it is part of what we have always done here for our young people.’

Michelle Rowe, a member of the CCA committee, said it was her daughter Charlotte’s idea to create the garden.

‘I started it about three years ago as we both like fairies,’ she said.

Charlotte Rowe with parents Colin and Michelle with Iain Emmett

Charlotte Rowe (front) who helped her mum (centre back) create the garden (Picture: Lewis Clarke)

‘We had a few wooden fairy doors and thought it would be cute to have them in this secluded spot of the CCA Fields.

‘Then we put a bit more in, and people came down and put little fairy houses here, and we had more and more being placed to create a magical area.’

She said the garden’s trustees had been forced to deal with vandalism on several occasions over the past three years.

‘The toadstools here were mine, and they have been completely smashed,’ Michelle said.

‘There was so much mess; it was too dangerous to leave it like it was, so we now had to take it all away, which was horrible.

A bin full of vandalised items

The damaged items had to be cleared from the garden (picture: Lewis Clarke/Devon Live)

‘So many children have brought things down; sentimental stuff to them.

‘People had placed CDs with messages on them and messages at the back of the garden in memory of people’s loved ones and pets.’

Michelle said the vandalism had not been reported to the police as there was not enough evidence on who the perpetrators were but added: ‘We think we know who did it.’

Addressing those behind the damage, Michelle said: ‘If you’re doing this for attention or in trouble, come speak to me as I will help you.

‘If you want help to find some kind of activity, if you’re feeling lost, I will help you.

‘You don’t have to do this.

‘It will not benefit you or anyone who behaves like this, and I will do my best to help them if they want it.’

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