Village pledges to bloom again after vandals run riot

By Ian Dipple Thursday 26 June 2014 Updated: 27/06 09:40

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Buy photos » Plants were ripped out (s)

A VILLAGE'S bid for floral glory was left in ruins after a rampage by mindless vandals.

Members of Studley in Bloom were left devastated after the destruction of several floral displays in the village, a key part of their bid for a fourth gold in a row in this year's Heart of England in Bloom competition.

Between Saturday night and 6.30am on Sunday (June 21 to 22) the vandals went on their destructive spree overturning planters, ripping out plants and throwing others into the street and against walls and shop windows.

They even took down hanging baskets and used them as footballs. Areas targeted include Marble Alley, Priory Square and the Alcester Road.

It is estimated more than £500 worth of damage has been caused and has left committee members facing a race against time to restore the displays ahead of official judging on August 1. Initially the committee was planning to withdraw from the contest but were told it was not their decision and were urged to continue with their bid.

Gill Liebthal, chair of Studley In Bloom, told the Standard with support from sponsors and Castle Nurseries, based in nearby Mappleborough Green, they were trying to repair the damage.

"Initially everybody was absolutely gutted and just could not believe there could be such mindless damage," she said.

"Within a couple of hours five or six members were there sorting it out and clearing it up and even people who weren't committee members were helping.

"We've lost a lot of plants we can't replicate because it's too late and it's coming to the end of the season but we are trying to replace them with plants of a similar colour.

"We just hope it won't count against us.

"In a way it has made us more determined that they are not going to beat us, we will carry on."

It is not the first time the village's floral displays have been vandalised. About two weeks ago plants were ripped out in Bell Lane and there were similar incidents about six years ago.

Police are now reviewing CCTV footage.

Anyone with any information should contact Warwickshire police on 101 quoting crime reference 23S6/12675B/14.

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Buy photos» Members of Studley in Bloom are hopeful of repairing the damage (s).

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Buy photos» Hanging baskets were taken down and used as footballs (s).

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Buy photos» Planters were overturned (s).

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