23 Dec Arson attack at Roots @ Bettws
Yesterday brought some sad news for our horticulture projects Roots @ Bettws in Newport, as they were a target of an arson attack. The project was informed Wednesday evening that there was a fire at the site, the Fire Brigade say the fire was deliberate.
This is devastating news just before Christmas and another attack on the project that has had a spate of petty thefts throughout the year including stolen pumpkins at Halloween.
Roots was just starting to get back on its feet from some tough times including the break in last Christmas, but with some great community support, new maintenance contracts and new developments at the site the project was beginning to grow. But only two days before Roots were closing for a well deserved Christmas break their Christmas cheer has been brought down with news that their project may be in jeopardy.
The site is currently unusable due to the damage caused by the fire and is unsafe for the trainees to attend. Two of the wooden sheds have burnt down, including the potting shed containing all the containers and pots, next to the shed were two portable toilets used on the site which are now only recognisable as melted plastic. The main office is unusable with smoke and water damage and the machinery the in storage shed has melted due to the heat of the fire. The plastic housing to the polytunnel has also melted and will have to be replaced. Not only is it costly, we are unsure why we are being targeted, which creates a very uneasy environment for all. This is heartbreaking for the project, not only for the staff and the organisation but mostly for the trainees who attend Roots, who will sure to be affected by the damage to the project they regularly attend.