Wanton destruction as vandals target St Andrews planters

A weekend of vandalism in St Andrews saw planters at the town's harbour overturned and emptied '“ twice.

Friday, 12th August 2016, 9:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:20 pm
Planters provided by volunteer organisation St Andrews in Bloom were vandalised over weekend 7/8 August 2016

Izzy Corbin of St Andrews in Bloom first heard about the damage on Monday.

The nine planters were attached to railings at the harbour-side and were tipped over allowing their contents to spill out onto the footpath.

“When it happened on Sunday I just thought that it was the dreadful winds,” she recalled, and one of the members of the St Andrews in Bloom team tided the area up.

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But on Tuesday the planters were overturned again and Izzy couldn’t believe it.

“It must have happened between 8pm and the early hours of the morning,” she said. “We now know that it has been pure and total vandalism.”

“I was sickened,” she continued, “I don’t show emotion very much but that was sickening – when I saw it I realised it was worse than I thought and people walking past were equally horrified by the damage. It is heart-rending to see something like that.”

The damage has now been repaired and the plants returned to their containers, but Izzy said it was a waiting game to see if the plants would survive.

She expressed gratitude to a fisherman working at the harbour who came forward and assisted in re-positioning the planters on the harbour railings, and other people who helped with the restoration.

“People have been fantastic,” she said.

The award-winning display of planters and hanging baskets around St Andrews – more than 170 – are provided by St Andrews in Bloom, an entirely voluntary organisation, which not only does the planting but rears the thousands of plants that make up the displays.

“The group are all volunteers – hard-working volunteers,” Izzy commented, “and people don’t understand that these displays are done by volunteers, not Fife Council.

“When they discovered that we are volunteers, passers-by at the harbour were even more shocked by the damage.”

Fellow member of St Andrews in Bloom Marysia Denyer described the vandalism as “wanton destruction” and said she hoped the culprits would “eventually be exposed”.

Just last week St Andrews was visited by judges from the Beautiful Scotland competition and in July the Beautiful Fife judges were in town.

In previous years the displays by St Andrews in Bloom have been recognised in both competitions – last year the town won the Visit Scotland Award for Tourism in the national awards and 2013 took Beautiful Scotland’s top prize, the Rosebowl Trophy awarded to the overall winner across all categories, with the highest overall marks.