Vandals ruin garden work of volunteer

Dennis Marshall with his community garden on Bank Street. (d608c232)
Dennis Marshall with his community garden on Bank Street. (d608c232)

A councillor will stop tending to a community garden he started 10 years ago because of constant vandalism.

But Coun Dennis Marshall is hoping one of the many people who admired his Bank Street creation will take over from him so that it does not become overgrown.

Coun Marshall, 83, said that in 2005 there was a patch of land in his street that was used as a car park and a “dog’s toilet.”

He decided to clear the mess up and plant bulbs there – only to wake up the next morning to find that it had all been dug up.

“Gradually over the years I built it up to a garden that people stopped at and said how nice it looks,” he said. “When I was working in it people would pass by and say ‘it does look lovely, you’re doing a good job’.”

However, repeated visits by vandals has meant Dennis, who is on the Morley Town Council, has decided to call it a day.

Damage includes a bird table that was broken in half and the removing of stones so that the wall keeps falling over. And the site is plagued by litter.

“I just got that fed up with it. I am in my 80s now. I am hoping that somebody that’s seen the garden and liked it would like to take it on. If nobody wants to, it’s just going to go back to its old state.”

Plants which are currently in the garden include roses, a bay tree, daffodils and various other shrubs.

Coun Marshall will use his extra time for councillor duties, his role as secretary of the local Royal British Legion – and is planning a charity wingwalk. To enquire about taking over the garden, call him 0113 252 6064.