Bute in Bloom team reveal frustration over vandalism and thefts

The Rabbit Garden in Rothesay has been targeted by thieves and vandals recently.
The Rabbit Garden in Rothesay has been targeted by thieves and vandals recently.

The Bute in Bloom team of volunteers, who do their utmost to have the island looking its best, have expressed their frustration at a recent outbreak of thefts and vandalism.

The incidents first occurred at the area behind Rothesay Castle, opposite Rothesay Library, known locally as the Rabbit Garden, last year. The Bute in Bloom team often use the community garden and have revealed that there have been more thefts in recent weeks.

Iain Gillespie from Bute in Bloom, explained more about the latest incidents.

He said: “Between March 27 and 30, all of our tools were stolen from behind the fence in the Rabbit Garden, and a tyre stack was damaged.

“As we do not have any transport to take tools from one site to another, this theft can seriously hamper our planting and maintenance of this area.

“And we have had three sections of fencing kicked over, many of the painted tyre stacks pushed over and plants stolen.”

Iain revealed his frustration at the thefts and vandalism. He said: “It’s not enough to call it an epidemic. The police say it’s maybe kids. But I don’t think kids would walk around the town with a handful of flowers.

“It’s just annoying. It’s not big amounts being stolen, enough to go into a carrier bag.

“The unfortunate thing was the plants stolen before the judging last year were quite expensive.”

The former gap site has flourished since Bute in Bloom took it on in 2014.

Iain said: “Five years ago I was asked to take it on and turn it into a community garden. We have been there for four and a half years now.

“It’s just last year these incidents started. Vandalism and thefts.

“My brother would paint something then a couple of days later it would be stolen.

“We really pushed the boat out last year and the whole place looked lovely.

“We put in eight new rose beds at the putting green and they were gone the next day.

“We are doing so much for the town, and people are saying it looks great. Then this happens. It’s frustrating.”