Treasured fairy garden in Cullompton 'absolutely smashed to bits' by vandals

Charlotte Rowe with parents Colin and Michelle with Iain Emmett Credit: BPM Media/Devon Live

A fairy garden in Cullompton which made magical memories for children has been trashed by vandals - for a sixth time.

Part of the Cullompton Community Association Fields have been decorated with fairy houses, toadstools and many other fantastical items for children to enjoy.

But on Sunday 17 April, families arrived to find it had been destroyed yet again.

Iain Emmet, chair of the community association, said the fairy grotto was found "absolutely smashed to bits" at around 7.30am.

"It was a right mess, and people were trying to tidy up," he said.

"They were trying to make it pleasant because the kids were queuing up to go in. We couldn't let them as fibreglass was sharp and dangerous - and it was a mess.

"There was a load of stuff in the water, with our little decorative mushrooms thrown in.

"People are now saying they want it to be redone. They'd like to keep it as It is part of what we have always done here for our young people."

The scenes which greeted volunteers after vandals smashed and tore down the fairy garden Credit: BPM Media/Devon Live

Michelle Rowe started the fairy garden three years ago for her daughter Charlotte and other children to enjoy.

She said: "We had a few wooden fairy doors and thought it would be cute to have them in this secluded spot of the CCA Fields. Then we put a bit more in, and people came down and put little fairy houses here, and we had more and more being placed to create a magical area."

She said this is the sixth time the fairy garden has been attacked by vandals and she has decided to call time repairing the damage.

"This latest vandalism happened on my birthday, so we spent my birthday clearing it up," she said.

"The toadstools here were mine, and they have been completely smashed.

"There was so much mess; it was too dangerous to leave it like it was, so we now had to take it all away, which was horrible. So many children have brought things down; sentimental stuff to them. People had placed CDs with messages on them and messages at the back of the garden in memory of people's loved-ones and pets.

"People want it back, and it's lovely to see how appreciated it was, but we know it will only get wrecked again," she added.

"The only thing I can think of is that perhaps we go along the lines of getting bird boxes that look like fairy houses. We can put them high enough so children can see them but out of reach. Hopefully, if it's up high, they're not going to bother trashing it."

The rubble and rubbish collected by volunteers after vandals had 'trashed' the fairy garden. Credit: Friends of CCA

She said police had not be contacted about the incident as there was no substantial evidence on who the perpetrators were.

"The real shame is that it's the fact that it is just a minority," she said.

"I've had so many teenagers say to me how treasured this fairy garden is and how they love getting involved within the town and using the facilities."

Michelle had a message for those behind the vandalism: "If you're doing this for attention or in trouble, come speak to me as I will help you.

"If you want help to find some kind of activity, if you're feeling lost, I will help you. You don't have to do this. It will not benefit you or anyone who behaves like this, and I will do my best to help them if they want it."