A BENCH in a public garden in Winchester was vandalised recently.

The bench was smashed to pieces in Hyde Abbey Garden last month, with police unable to do anything because the area is not covered by CCTV.

Pam Underwood, chairman of the Friends of Hyde Abbey Garden explained the costs involved when benches are vandalised.

Pam said that after two large benches were vandalised at the end of 2020, “We fund raised and the council paid the rest £12,500 total price.

“The benches in the chapel were replaced in August and the Mayor attended the a party to welcome the benches.”

Referring to the most recent incidents, Pam said: “There were two smaller benches, one in each chapel and in December last year the back of one bench was smashed in. The police were notified but as no witnesses or CCTV the case was closed with no further action.

READ MORE: Vandalised public bench replaced in Hyde Abbey Garden in Winchester

“This will cost again about £8000 to replace both benches.

“This garden is a City Jubilee project. Friends of Hyde Abbey Garden look after the garden, weeding, trimming the hedges and hollies in metal frames. The council cut the grass and trim the shrubbery.

“We have asked for CCTV for several years but as one of many groups wanting CCTV, we have not been successful as yet. Needless to add this has caused great distress to the gardeners that yobs can do all this damage.

“Many folk sit in the chapels having their coffee and meeting friends, it is normally a peaceful area and much enjoyed by the larger community.”

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Hampshire Gardens Trust posted on Instagram: “Vandals have been back to Hyde Abbey Garden in Winchester - this time destroying the remaining original wooden bench in the garden, designed by Kim Wilkie to represent the nave of the ancient Hyde Abbey which once stood there.

“Not content with already having destroyed one of the two semi-circular benches leading to both being replaced at considerable cost, they have now reduced to firewood the third, long one. What pleasure can possibly be had from this destruction?”

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Kimberley Barber