Berry gardeners hit by machinery theft

Tony Hampson in the Berry Community Garden, from which machinery was stolen last week.

Tony Hampson in the Berry Community Garden, from which machinery was stolen last week.

The theft of machinery belonging to the Berry Community Garden has left its members feeling gutted.

For seven years a group of men and women used a small parcel of land at the Woodhill Mountain Wines vineyard to cultivate vegetable gardens.

They keep their tools and machinery in a small shed.

On Friday afternoon one of the founding members of the group Tony Hampson entered the shed to find a Rover self-powered lawnmower, a rotavator and a Monza petrol-powered water pump had been stolen.

“I was devastated,” he said.

“This place is not easy to find but unfortunately some mongrel found it.”

Mr Hampson said the concept of the garden was to bring people together to socialise while growing vegetables for themselves or to give away.

Some of the group’s machinery was purchased with money from grants

“We have 18 members and most of them are retired,” he said.

“We were all disappointed by the theft. We all work pretty hard on the garden.

“In future we will be chaining the equipment to the concrete floor and we have upgraded the security.

“Two years ago we bought the mower with money donated from the Berry Garden Festival.

“Using an IMB grant we bought the pump. The community has been very generous,” Mr Hampson said.

Anyone with information about the theft is encouraged to phone Nowra Police on 4421 9699.

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