Saffron Walden community group appeals for tools after shed is ransacked

Gay Veal, trustee of Dig It, with the burgled shed

Gay Veal, trustee of Dig It, with the burgled shed - Credit: Archant

Thieves broke in and cleared out the tool shed of charitable gardening group Dig It at the Crocus Fields Allotment, Saffron Walden, over the bank holiday weekend.

Gay Veal, trustee of Dig It, with the burgled shed

Gay Veal, trustee of Dig It, with the burgled shed - Credit: Archant

The group’s entire collection of donated tools was stripped from the shed wall and a number of other break-ins took place at the site.

Dig It is a charity which helps the unemployed and those who need a leg-up in life by providing a sociable outdoor environment in which people can apply their skills.

Gay Veal, a trustee and volunteer at the group said: “The tools they took from here were all donated to us. The public and local businesses are all very supportive of us and are very generous.

“We are trying to help the very kind of person who took from us, the kind of people who need some help in their lives.

“It feels a bit like stealing from the church or from your mother, there’s something rather sick about it. It’s like biting the hand that feeds you.

The theft was discovered last Tuesday morning when members of the group arrived at the allotment.

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Dig It has appealed for donations of any spare or second-hand gardening tools to replace those which were stolen.

Mrs Veal added: “The tools weren’t worth a hundred pounds. It’s not so much the value it’s just having the facilities for people to use.

“I just hope the community will be forthcoming and we will just have to go around and see what we can borrow.”

The shed from which the tools were taken is always left unlocked as members are aware any potential thieves would otherwise tear the door off.

Another allotment shed with a strong security lock was also broken into.

Mrs Veal said: “It must have taken them a long time to do all of the other secure sheds so it must have been planned. It’s vandalism really, mindless vandalism.

“We are very trusting here and we try to run Dig It on the principle of trust.”

The group said it felt the incident was not representative of the Saffron Walden community “the overwhelming majority of whom are decent, kind and generous people.”

Anyone wishing to donate tools can call 01799 610504, email or visit the allotment on Crocus Fields on Tuesday or Friday between 10am and 3pm.