You have vandalised my garden’

AN award-winning horticulturist and garden designer yesterday (Tuesday) accused Huntingdonshire District Council workers of vandalising part of her garden. Marney Hall, who lives in Meadow Lane, St Ives, and has won gold awards from the Chelsea and Hampto

AN award-winning horticulturist and garden designer yesterday (Tuesday) accused Huntingdonshire District Council workers of vandalising part of her garden.

Marney Hall, who lives in Meadow Lane, St Ives, and has won gold awards from the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows, returned from shopping to find cherished plants had been ripped from her garden wall.

"I have a little town garden and I have been cultivating this part of the garden as a haven for wildlife," she told The Hunts Post. "Last year, we had robins and two families of blackbirds, as well as butterflies and bees.

"I planted the ivy nine years ago and had clematis, jasmine and roses trailing over it. I went out shopping this morning, and came back to find they had stripped my wall of all the plants that were growing on it," she said yesterday. "They even parked in my drive while they did it, and they reached over the wall, which I own, and hacked my lilac, laburnum and yew tree. I'm really upset about it. It's horticultural vandalism."

Mrs Hall, pictured, said she had complained to the council six months ago about one of its beds beyond her wall that contained dead shrubs and sycamore seedling as tall as she.

"I told them they are the first things visitors see when they come to the town, and they are a disgrace. I also pointed out that the listed market building was being undermined and trees planted for their bark were overrun with ivy. I had a bit of a go at them.

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"Now all I'm left with is bare brick and a few ivy roots. It's hideous. The wildlife habitat is gone.

"If they'd asked me to prune it, I would have wound it back through the trellis at the top of the wall, but there was no warning that this vandalism was going to take place. It would have been only courteous to send a letter or make a telephone call," she fumed.

A spokesman for HDC said it would be investigating the claims.

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