York & North Yorkshire

Help for Cayton village hit by plant poisoner

Floral displays before and after being poisoned with the weedkiller
Image caption A banned weedkiller desiccated many plants

A company has come to the rescue of a village whose floral displays for the annual Britain in Bloom contest were poisoned by a mysterious saboteur.

The community was left devastated last month when plants were poisoned in a spate of attacks.

It was believed to be a deliberate attempt to destroy the village's chances in the competition.

York-based company Green-Tech has now donated 80 tonnes of topsoil to replace the contaminated soil.

Speaking last month, Les Hutchinson, chairman of Cayton In Bloom, said he believed the person responsible was someone local who had a grudge rather, than young vandals.

Tests revealed that the banned weed killer sodium chlorate was used to poison the displays.

It was feared that the soil could be contaminated for up to five years.

Mechanical diggers are now being used to remove the soil and replace it with the new organic material.

Roger Burnett, parks and countryside manager for Scarborough council, said: "Following this devastating attack on the village's floral displays it has been really heartening to see the pledges of help and encouragement that have flooded in from all quarters."

He said the "whole community" was pulling together to try to restore Cayton's displays before the final judging of the National RHS Britain in Bloom contest on 11 August.

North Yorkshire Police are investigating.

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