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MINDLESS: Flowerpot men dumped in woodland pond

MINDLESS: Flowerpot men dumped in woodland pond

The newly-restored flowerpot men, Image: LDRS

Flowerpot men were thrown in a pond at a Solihull beauty spot amid fresh concerns about “mindless” vandalism.

The Bill and Ben-style handmade sculptures were cast into the pool at Palmers Rough Local Nature Reserve, in Shirley.

The objects, among several wooden artworks on-site, have since been retrieved and lovingly restored by a local resident although options to make them secure are still being looked at.

The incident comes amid mounting anger about anti-social behaviour in the quiet woodland, mentioned in the Domesday Book.

In recent weeks bark has appeared to have been deliberately scratched off tree trunks, while shopping trolleys have also been dumped in the pond.

The carts appeared to have been recovered from the water when the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) visited on Thursday afternoon.

Although separate work to “de-silt” the pond – removing the sludge will help tackle the dense layer of duck weed – will be left until later in the autumn, to minimise impact on wildlife.

Cllr Karen Grinsell (Con, Shirley East) said that boredom at the end of the summer was likely responsible for anti-social behaviour.

Fellow ward councillor Mark Parker had described the incidents as “appalling” while Cllr Grinsell herself said that the impact shouldn’t be downplayed

“It’s just mindless vandalism isn’t it?

“Basically they just think it’s fun to do it but somebody has got to remove it.

“So it’s the cost, it’s the time involved – if it’s a ranger that has to come out … and also the damage to the environment and wildlife.”

These latest problems follow similar concerns last summer, when two other sculptures in the vicinity were chainsawed from their stumps.

Cllr Grinsell said it was sad to see a lack of respect for the wildlife haven, one of many borough sites which became a popular retreat during lockdowns.

There is the potential for the park, off Northbrook Road, to eventually welcome portable CCTV cameras – which were this week confirmed in Elmdon and Lyndon.

But there have also been calls for supermarkets to consider increased security to specifically prevent trolleys being taken and dumped at the reserve.

A spokesman for Tesco, which operates a store on the nearby Stratford Road, said: “We encourage all customers at our Solihull Extra store to return their trolleys once they have finished their shop for other customers to use.

“We employ a specialist company to rescue our trollies when they have been taken way from a store and we’d urge anyone who sees an abandoned Tesco trolley to let their local store know so we can get it back as soon as possible.”

The chain said it wasn’t aware of a  “particular issue” with carts being removed from this branch, however it had asked its specialist recovery team to visit the store and surrounding area.

  • Abandoned trolleys in any part of the borough can be reported via the Trolleywise smart phone app to arrange retrieval.


Words: David Irwin, Local Democracy Reporter

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