Scouts come forward to clean up allotment

Scouts from Market Harborough are helping to fix up allotments after reading about a shed destroyed by arson in Little Bowden Recreation Ground.
Scouts from Market Harborough are helping to fix up allotments after reading about a shed destroyed by arson in Little Bowden Recreation Ground.

An arson attack which destroyed sheds, fence panels and trees and which will result in one man leaving his allotment has inspired community-spirited scouts to step in.

Duncan Elliott, leader at Bowden Scouts, contacted the Mail after reading about the plight of Peter Pickering and his dad Joe last week.

Peter Pickering has decided to give up his own allotment after nearly 40 years following the arson attack at the allotments near Little Bowden Recreation Ground, off Scotland Road in Harborough, on Friday, May 31.

Recent vandalism at the site has included a spade being thrown through a shed window, a fork being thrust through a shed door and seeds, fertiliser and pegs being strewn about.

Mr Elliot has now spoken to Peter Pickering about Bowden Scouts helping to clear up the damage.

They visited the allotment on Tuesday to assess what they could do to help Peter and Joe.

Mr Elliot said: “I saw the article on the front of the paper and thought ‘poor bloke’, what a horrible situation, and instantly I thought what can I do and then what can we do.

“My immediate response was ‘let’s help this guy out’.”

Mr Elliott said that it is a win-win situation as the work the Scouts will do will not only help Mr Pickering but will also help them attain their community badges.

A key part of the badge is providing help in the community, something that this action by Bowden Scouts will certainly achieve.

There will be between 10 and 15 scouts taking part in the clean-up and Peter Pickering said he expects the majority of their work to include removing debris left over from the fire. Burnt timber has already been removed.

The scouts are hoping to do this over the weekend once a risk assessment has been completed.

Peter Pickering’s 90-year-old dad Joe, of Foxton, has now revisited his decision to quit the allotments and will continue.

Peter, who lives in Harborough, said: “At least there are some young people out there willing to help people in the community and not cause disruption and damage in society in general. “

The Bowden Scouts recently helped clear up Symington’s Recreation Ground, off St Mary’s Road, after Harborough Carnival on Saturday.