Pigeons burnt alive and £1000s worth of damage caused - after sheds set on fire in arson attack on Chesterfield allotments

A Chesterfield man has spoken of his heartbreak after his family’s racing pigeons were burnt alive and their sheds set on fire in an arson attack.

Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 4:03 pm

Martin Walton – known as Swally to his 54,000 followers on Facebook – was at home when he got a call from his dad, Neil Walton, this morning (Tuesday, August 10) informing him that his brother’s racing pigeons had been killed and their sheds burnt down on Temple Normanton allotments.

Around 30 pigeons which his brother, Andrew Walton kept there in two sheds as part of his pigeon racing hobby, were burnt alive in the flames along with their homes which has resulted in thousands of pounds worth of damage.

The fire is thought to have taken place overnight between Monday, August 9 and Tuesday, August 10 but the blaze was out when officers arrived at the scene on Mansfield Road earlier today.

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The aftermath following the fire on the allotments.

Facebook content creator Swally, 49, posted a live video of the damage following the fire to his followers this morning.

He said: "There's years and years of work that went into this, my dad is in his 70s now and he's been going on the same allotments since he was about five or six years old and it's just devastating.

"My brother, they are his life, he looks after them and he races them obviously – it's heartbreaking that somebody can do this.

"It's a lot of money worth of pigeons that are gone, a hell of a lot of money of sheds and pigeons, it's the time, the money, it is just irreplaceable.

Two pigeon sheds were in a fire at allotments on Mansfield Road, Temple Normanton.

"The pigeons burnt alive in the shed, it is disgusting.”

The father who is a partner in his brother’s racing hobby called A. Walton and Partners said he is still in shock and added that Andrew was ‘inconsolable’ following the news.

Swally believes the attack was motivated by ‘jealousy’.

The 49-year-old who reported the incident to Derbyshire police added: “If you are good at racing pigeons unfortunately there is somebody out there who obviously doesn't like it.

Derbyshire police are appealing for anyone with information to contact the force as soon as possible.

"It's massive, there's thousands of pounds worth of birds gone, sheds.

"It is just devastating, they'll never be able to put it back to how it was."

The Facebook video creator who posts clips with his partner Claire to his page called ‘Swally Walton’ thanked his viewers for their ‘unbelievable’ support following his post about the fire this morning.

"It does restore my faith in humanity”, Swally said.

Around 30 racing pigeons are said to have been killed in the attack.

"Let's just hope [the perpetrators] get brought to justice.”

In a statement, a Derbyshire police spokesperson said: “Around 7.20am this morning we received a call to reports of two pigeon sheds which had been destroyed by fire at allotments on Mansfield Road, Temple Normanton.

“The fire was reported to have already been out when the call came to us.

“It is thought the incident has taken place sometime overnight between yesterday (Monday 9 August) and today (Tuesday 10 August).”

Anyone who has information about the fire or spotted anything suspicious in the area should call officers on 101, message the force on Facebook, Twitter or complete a form their website, quoting 21*448112.

You can also anonymously contact Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

The image shows how the pigeon sheds looked before the fire.

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Neil Walton, Swally and Andrew have been left heartbroken by the arson attack.
There is thousands of pounds worth of damage according to Swally.
The fire is set to have started overnight sometime between Monday, August 9 and Tuesday, August 10.