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”


  1. 3 years of Arson.
    Time you put cameras around the area Cllr Taylor
    Or have paid security
    It will catch the criminals
    Whoever did this arson attack needs to learn the hard way… You will get caught
    Someone might burn alive
    Arson means deliberate… Its known trait round Thanet. But I want tougher things to happen to protect someone being burnt alive cllr Taylor.
    Ask people in the area cllr Taylor 3 years of arson ends NOW

    • Ms Hooper – I have had a brilliant idea.

      You give Cllr Taylor £100.000 a year and then he can employ security guards to patrol the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year to stop the morons setting light to shets and nicking the wood !

  2. There is a possibility somewhere someone has some timber in there garden underneath a tarpaulin or in a garage do you know someone who has timber in their garden or possibly even on another allotments or do you know if anyone has been talking about some timber going cheap. Has anyone you know been laying decking or making there own newfence anyone who is doing something with wood who you think is it possible that it has come from the allotments also the type of timber that roe use is not your normal cheap looking timber they use quality timber as they use it in building of houses and its not short either at 14 feet long if you have any suspicions contact the police on 101 or crime stoppers you don’t need to say who you are just do the right thing and report what you think is suspicious something so simple as you see a person walking past your house a few times towards the allotments and thought why does he keep going well you may find the answer is getting timber. If you’re suspicious ring the police you may be wrong but chances are you’ll be right.

    • Big Chris thank you for making such a good point and providing the information on reporting any suspicious activity or behaviour. Let’s all be more vigilant and support our local police force.

  3. The police are no longer proactive unfortunately. It’s pretty much all reactive and then investigative. It’s not their fault in the main but those funding the police nationally.
    It may help the allotments if secure fencing and gates were erected to stop unwanted thieving deviants from wrecking and stealing from them. Maybe if locals could keep an eye over there from their homes and question anything suspicious too. It is such a shame that a few imbeciles will ruin it for those who are just trying to enjoy a pastime and grow a few veggies.

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