Forest school team step in to help rebuild Dane Valley allotment sheds destroyed in arson attack

Mick, Fran and Peter will pitch in to help rebuild the allotment sheds Photo Carl Hudson

A team from the Thanet Community Forest School has stepped in to help replace allotment sheds destroyed in an arson attack last week.

Four sheds and other items were burnt at Dane Valley allotments on April 18. Kent Police confirmed the fire is being treated as arson.

Among the victims was NHS worker Barbara Hardy who lost two sheds, tools and seeds.

Photo Carl Hudson

But now the forest team has offered to help after project manager Mick Sturman decided they should pitch in.

He is joined in organising the effort by forest school founder Luke Evans, member Fran Clements and Peter Hasted, from the Sunken Garden Revival group.

Generous backing has been offered by isle firm Roe Timber which will supply the materials.

Peter said: “I told Roe Timber about the fire and asked if they could help and they said just give them a list of what we need. I think it is really important that our community comes together at a time like this.”

Photo Carl Hudson

Luke added: “As chairman of TCFS I’m proud we are doing this. Michael Sturman, my project manager, had the idea that we could help out the victims of this fire

“It is saddening that one of the sheds belonged to a member of NHS staff so it is the absolute least we can do to help.”

Barbara’s husband Ian was delighted to hear of the offer, saying: “It is so nice of them. Barbara will be so pleased.”

Fire crews at the scene

Kent Police said the fire was confirmed as suspicious by Kent Fire and Rescue Service and is now being investigated by officers.

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call 01843 222289 quoting reference 46/66828/20. They can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


  1. A big thank you for everyone who is helping in replacing everything possible. It just seems to me that this is of good neighbourliness every one is helping one another apart from the arsonists we have in thanet so many are pulling together their are so many good people in Thanet it’s heart warming to see this area of Kent has always been known for its kind hearted nature this year with not 4months gone and you have exceeded yourselves. All of you and you know who you are who are doing their best to give a neighbour or someone you don’t know a helping hand a kindness crocheting rainbows and knitting hearts and the making of PPE and washing bags and everything else you do for the NHS and every other kindness you do is absolutely wonderful and I thank you all each and every one of you. Chris

  2. Not anything to do with the suspected arsonist who was released on bail by the police recently, for suspected car fires then?

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