A group of volunteer gardeners were left shocked when they discovered damage to a town centre grass verge on Sunday.
The volunteers - members of a group known as The North Street Border Patrol - could not believe their eyes when they saw the churned up turf by flower beds in North Street, Horsham.
Patrol member Eve Delves, who is also secretary of Horsham In Bloom, said: “The damage has obviously been done by an HGV mounting the kerb.”
She added: “We work hard to maintain those borders and good money goes into keeping the verges looking nice so it’s pretty awful when someone just thoughtlessly creates such devastation.”
She explains: “North Street is without doubt the most well known and iconic access point into Horsham Town. On one side there’s Horsham’s Grade II listed station and on the other, the ancient park and a roadside framed with attractive planted borders which stretch all the way to the historic Black Jug pub.
“The planted beds, known as the Diamond Jubilee Floral Ribbon, were installed in 2012 with the aid of Lottery Funding, secured by Horsham District Council in co-operation with Horsham in Bloom. Even in the depths of
winter, they are an eye-catching sight, maintained by a team of volunteers who turn out on the second Sunday of every month, come rain or shine to clear away litter, remove weeds and dead plants and who do everything they can to ensure the beds always look their best.
“Contractors are also employed by Horsham District Council to regularly cut the grass, further enhancing the area for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.
“The North Street Border Patrol, as the volunteers are known, were enormously saddened when last Sunday they discovered severe damage to one of the grass verges which was undoubtedly the result of a large HGV mounting the kerb, tearing up the grass as it went and leaving huge, deep gouges in the ground. The damage has ruined the aesthetic of the borders and simultaneously made the ground potentially hazardous to any pedestrians.
“This section of North Street, adjacent to one of Horsham’s current redevelopment initiatives, Holmes Park, is clearly wide enough for HGVs to turn around and as this is a site of development they come and go on a regular basis and have done so for a while with no damage being recorded until now.
“Quite why or how it became necessary to mount the kerb, causing such devastating and wilful damage is beyond imagination.
“Perhaps if there were any passersby who witnessed a large vehicle mounting the grass verge on North Street in the last week they would like to inform Horsham in Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Similarly, if the party responsible would like to come forward, maybe we could, confidentially of course, discuss a donation towards the repair of the damaged verge.”