Thieves steal timber donated for shed rebuild following Dane Valley allotments arson

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

Thieves have swiped some 30 planks of wood that had been donated to help rebuild sheds at Dane Valley allotments destroyed in an arson attack earlier this month.

The 30 planks, each measuring 4.2m, had been donated by Roe Timber to members of the Thanet Community Forest School who were leading the rebuild.

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.

The forest team offered to help after project manager Mick Sturman decided they should pitch in.

Photo Carl Hudson

He was 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 was offered by Roe Timber.

The theft is thought to have taken place overnight. Peter branded it ‘frustrating’ but said Roe Timber has already replaced supplies and the rebuild will go ahead.

Luke said it would add some time to the schedule, saying: “It is frustrating as we are looking after 366 Isle of Thanet Tree and Wood Initiative trees and growing vegetables to give to Sharon Goodyer’s Our Kitchen project so things are tight. The team won’t be beaten that easily though!”

There are no signs of a break-in to the site and the team is hoping the culprits have hidden it nearby.

The theft has been reported to police.

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was contacted on Monday concerning a report that timber had been stolen from allotments in College Road, Margate.

“The theft is believed to have taken place between 3pm on Friday 24 April and 8am on Monday 27 April.

“An investigation into the circumstances is ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/71865/20.

You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or complete the anonymous online form at”