DAMAGE caused to an award-winning community garden in Peebles is estimated to cost over £1,000 to repair.

As we reported last week, the polytunnel at the Peebles CAN community garden, located behind the Victoria Park Centre on Kingsmeadows Road, was slashed, burned with cigarettes, kicked and littered by vandals.

Since our story was published, the green space has continued to suffer acts of vandalism, with further damage inflicted to weighing scales, shelves, and theft of a folder over the weekend.

Volunteers from the community garden have now come forward to help with the repairs.

Community growing co-ordinator Nichole Easton told the Peeblesshire News: “I want to thank all of our volunteers who came out in the freezing weather – temperatures in the minus – to help with the tidy up and taping up the holes.

“It is such a pleasure to work with volunteers of the Grow Cook Build Own project, they have achieved so much and made the garden such a welcoming space.

“We are all hopeful this behaviour will come to an end.”

The local community have responded with support for evening plans for dog walkers and evening runners to use the community garden as a through path to Victoria Park.

Nichole added: “More footfall in the community garden is hoped to deter the vandals, and there is a motion sensor street light in the garden, so it is not too dark.

“Members of the public are invited to walk through the community garden in the evenings to help the cause.”

Police are continuing to monitor the community garden. A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We are aware of, and investigating, the recent damage caused to a community garden in Peebles and the community beat officers are conducting local inquiries in the area to identify those responsible.

“Anyone with information is asked to come forward.”

The garden was a previous target for vandals in April when a new £6,000 yurt was damaged just a month after it was installed.

After a clean-up and many months of work, the outdoor space won gold at the Peebles in Bloom awards in the town’s Burgh Hall in September.