Anger after ‘mindless’ vandals strike at Derbyshire park

Victoria Park, Ilkeston. Picture: Erewash Borough Council (Twitter)
Victoria Park, Ilkeston. Picture: Erewash Borough Council (Twitter)

Vandals have attacked a Derbyshire park for the second time in three weeks, ripping flowers from beds and throwing the plants across the grass and pathways.

The latest mindless vandalism at Victorial Park in Ilkeston happened overnight on Wednesday (August 3) and follows the previous trashing of the flower beds in mid-July.

Erewash Borough Council’s parks team had painstakingly worked to recover and replant the displays and are now working again to salvage flowers and replant the beds – which were in peak summertime bloom.

Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s lead member for culture and leisure, said: “I don’t think anyone could find the words that adequately sum up the anger, frustration, disbelief and disappointment we feel at this vandalism. Victoria Park is much loved by the local community and we have received many compliments for our Victorian flower displays.

“It is so wrong that a mindless minority can spoil this lovely park and I would urge anyone with information to get in touch with us or the police on 101.”

Victoria Park was awarded its sixth consecutive Green Flag two weeks ago and was recently visited by the East Midlands in Bloom judges as part of a tour of Ilkeston.”

The park is also currently having major restoration work carried out on key features after the council secured £740,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

As part of the heritage project, a new community ranger, Helen Mitchem, has been appointed and she is keen to hear from residents who would like to join the Friends of Victoria Park or join her as volunteer rangers to help be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the park. Anyone interested can email helen.mitchen@erewash.gov.uk or call her on 0115 907 2244.