A community garden has been left in tatters after vandals ripped flowers from their beds and threw stones from the rockery into the canal.
The well-kept corner of land on the towpath in Highbridge Walk, Aylesbury has been lovingly tended by the town’s resident guerilla gardener Tony Robinson since May last year.
It began as a self-funded hobby with Tony buying bags of soil and various plants every so often – but as time wore onhis efforts were noticed by residentand passers-by, leading him to be dubbed a ‘local champion’.
Heartened residents began donating plants and soil, as well as leaving him thank you cards and letters.
But now the fruits of his labour lie in tatters and –with cigarette ends and dog mess strewn everywhere – the 84-year-old has been left wondering how he will replace the items which went missing.
Tony, who lives in Florey Gardens, believes the mindless attack occurred at some point between New Years Eve and Friday, January 2.
He estimates around 20 to 30 rocks were taken, some of which were strategically placed to support plants.
He said: “I have to admit, I was disturbed when I saw what they had done. I think they were using the stones to break the ice, but they don’t realise the time it took to acquire those specific ones.
“There was a lot of physical effort and labour involved in moving them, as I could only take one at a time in my trolley.
“I don’t want personal sympathy, but they were knowingly damaging something the community enjoyed.”
Tony is still taking donations of soil, plants and pieces of stone or cobbles – in particular ones that are ‘about the size of a loaf of bread’.
The grandfather vowed: “They won’t defeat me.”