THE chairman of a community garden centre has lashed out at drug users and ‘louts’ who have damaged property and left drug paraphernalia.

Allan Woods, chairman of Owd Martha’s Yard, said teenagers have been abusive to volunteers and claimed ‘evidence of drug-taking’ in an area designed for young children had been found.

In a newsletter sent out to volunteers, councillors, MPs and neighbourhood police officers, Allan said: “A few weeks ago, a section of fencing that divides the dental practice and our garden was smashed by two schoolchildren about 12 years of age, and wearing a local school uniform, so that they could get to wherever they were going.

“Over the past few months we have spent quite a lot of time and effort preparing an enchanted garden, in which was a ‘den’ specifically for young children who enjoyed the facility.

“For the past few weeks, there has been evidence of drug-taking in the den. We, as a group, have reluctantly and regrettably decided to dismantle the den, as we were very worried for the safety and wellbeing of the youngsters, who will be very sad at the loss.”

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Allan said that people using drugs in the garden was one of the major issues the group faced.

“We will not be broken by these louts, but feel the need for help from people of higher authority is now a matter of importance.”