Vandals cause devastation in West Hampstead community garden

Priory Urban Green Space after most of their Portland Stone borders were stolen. Resident John Goodm

Priory Urban Green Space after most of their Portland Stone borders were stolen. Resident John Goodman next to one of the patches of bare ground where one of the Portland Stone blocks used to be. - Credit: Archant

A volunteer who battled to save a community garden in West Hampstead has voiced his disbelief after vandals struck.

The Priory Urban Green Space, which boasts more than 40 different species of plants, was targeted last week.

John Goodman, one of the creators of the green space, said: “The garden is devastated.

“The beds have been vandalised and the plants have been crushed.

“The edging stones of the beds were pieces of the earliest original railway station built at Kilburn and they’ve all been stolen.”

This is not the first time the garden has come under attack.

After transforming the space from a fly-tipping hot spot 10 years ago, in 2012 neighbours were accused of “trespassing” by Camden Council and ordered to demolish the garden.

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In response, the residents launched the Save Our Priory Urban Green Space campaign and in 2014 presented the council with a petition signed by 1,400 people.

This convinced officials that the green space beside the railway line off Belsize Road should be saved.

Mr Goodman said: “Since then, all the fighting about the garden has calmed down and it has been left to become a beautiful open green space. We had big plans for new footpaths and flower beds and we wanted to incorporate the stones in the new beds.

“There are a few stones they haven’t taken, but now I’m worried that they will take

those too.”

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