Huge community effort sees Sutton allotments back on their feet after devastating blaze

Lane End Allotment holders have been ‘blown away’ with the community effort to help them get back on their feet after the devastation of an alleged arson attack earlier this year.

By Katrina Taylor
Monday, 5th July 2021, 1:35 pm

When news broke of a large fire on the allotments just off King’s Mill Road East, in Sutton allotment owners rushed to the scene to find their years of hard work had gone up in smoke.

In the following days, Ashfield District Council assessed the damage and began the mammoth clean-up onsite, but heartbroken plot holders found their sheds burned to the ground, greenhouses smashed and crops ruined.

Plot holder Gill Brunt heaped praise on the community efforts.

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Allotment owners Bill Horan, George Bryan and Gill Brunt with Neil and Phil Ashmore from the Shed Brothers.

She said: “Nine sheds were burned to the ground and most of the greenhouses had been damaged by fire or deliberately smashed.

“I was devastated when I first saw the damage, and wondered how I would be able to repair the greenhouse and replace the shed and all the tools inside.

“Ashfield District Council cleared most of the glass and charred remains over a period of a week, and organised for Crystal Environmental Services to clear asbestos which was also discovered, at no cost to us, which we were very grateful for.”

Gill had posted on an allotment page on Facebook asking for advice, and one of the members set up a GoFundMe age, which raised a whopping £940.

Flames light up the night sky behind the King's Mill Farm pub in Sutton this evening. Photo: Simona Sprowell

Gill continued: "73 people donated, and we then had offers of tools, pots, seeds, and plants – we were all blown away.

“We even had offers of sheds – one with its contents, and The Shed Brothers at Newstead also donated a brand new shed to one of our longstanding plot holders.

"We have been so lucky to have received all the help.”

Morrisons organised an in-store collection for the allotment holders and we received some cash, tools, gloves, seeds and potting trays.

Sheds and greenhouses were destroyed in the attack. Photo: Ashfield District Council

Ten staff from B&Q also cleared glass and cut back hedging to allow cars access to the site, with McDonald's providing helpers with coffees and McFlurry's.

"We may live in an area where things like this happen but, good people in the community get together and restore your faith in human nature" Gill added.

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