Gary Lineker leads donations for vandalised charity allotment as GoFundMe page tops £160,000

Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker has led a huge public outpouring of support for a charity allotment after it was vandalised.

Carly Burd created the allotment at Harlow in Essex as part of her A Meal On Me With Love initiative to help people struggling with the cost of living crisis, people on benefits, low-income earners and pensioners, by providing organic produce.

But vandals broke into her plot on Monday night, dousing the soil with kilograms of salt - making it unusable for growing.

Since then, a GoFundMe page in support of the project has topped £160,000 after a flurry of donations.

One of the top donations was listed as being from Gary Lineker, with the star tweeting “Why would you ever do something like that?”.

Ms Burd showed her followers on TikTok the salt that had been poured over her land. Credit: Carly Burd / TikTok

Ms Burd, who is known as Carlyburd43 on TikTok, shared with her 17,000 followers that she was left “absolutely heartbroken” after salt was poured over her plot.

Holding back tears, Ms Burd said in her video: “Someone’s jumped over in the night and put salt all over the land.

“That means everything I’ve planted won’t grow and I can’t replant on it because it won’t grow. All the hours and hours and hours of work that we’ve put in is now dead, and they’ve done it everywhere.”

The gardener showed viewers her ruined allotment featuring rugged soil and piles of salt.

“How could you do that?” she said.

Despite the vandalism, Ms Burd insisted that it “won’t stop me” and pledged to continue her initiative.

“You won’t stop me because I’ll just pick it all up and carry on… you won’t stop me whatsoever," she said.

Boxes containing fruit and vegetables grown in Ms Burd’s garden, as well as dry foods and other essentials, are distributed to households through the scheme.

Carly at work clearing the allotment before planting Credit: ITV News Anglia

The gardener, who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS) and lupus, shared her sympathy for those struggling through the cost-of-living crisis.

“I’m on disability so I have to keep the cost down,” she wrote on her Go Fund Me page.

“I can’t sit back and watch people struggle; not being able to feed their kids or go without food so they can have the heating on.

“Last year I went without heating, having MS with no heating is horrific. Why are we left to live like this?”

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