I have been sent these pictures taken by Mr David Went. Work has stopped at the moment at Dane Valley Allotments, so I am told, but close examination of the picture below shows the old fencing left wide open and allotment huts left with no security at all.
The picture below shows an ill-considered siting of a 'dog-pooh' bin. Not only is it offensive to pedestrians squeezing through the chicane but it can act as a step-up to cross the fencing put in a few years back.
A number of issues come to mind. Those down at Cecilia Rd and those who have to put up with galvanised steel fences in Culmers Land will note how green fencing is going up in Dane Valley . Why was this not considered elsewhere?
It is ironic that Angela Fox had no problems for 7 years and blames the high profile fencing as 'posing a challenge ' to the vandals. She may well be right. I suspect that the self-satisfied tone of Lyne Pilcher reported in today's IOTG will change when Culmers comes in for some attention from the vandals and Broadstairs residents will rightly ask why their Park had to be spoiled? As regular readers will know, I did some 'reading' into security of allotments in February and bored people with the subject.
It is a pity that TDC and Allotment Committees around the Isle did not do some similar reading and then think long and hard before this programme of fencing was initiated; security according to most Local Authorities and The National Allotments Association requires a careful combination of strategies and not just ugly fencing with the natural plant screening removed or ignored as has ocurred at Culmers Land and Cecilia Road.
One of my sources was absolutely scathing about the 'ill thought out, rushed scheme and mindless visual pollution that industrial style allotment fencing has brought about'. He did say that he had told people at Culmers that this fencing was inherently insecure unless placed on a concrete base as it can be breached by simply scraping soil away underneath a section of the fence and crawling underneath it. So go and look for what seems badger scraping, Angela Fox, in a corner of your site's hideous, costly but useless fencing and you will probably find where your vandals gained access.
So thats the funny thing about fences; if you can't climb them without risking emasculation or cut through them, you go under them.
But TDC and some of our Allotment Committees didn't think about that and that's the problem .