THE co-owner of a pick-your-own pumpkin field has slammed “mindless” vandals who attacked it in an overnight wrecking spree.
Family-run Fordingbridge Pumpkin Pastures had only just opened in the run-up to Halloween when the site, off the A338 Ringwood Road, was targeted during Sunday night.
Sam Burden, who co-owns the field with her husband Dan, told the A&T the damage was discovered by her husband on Monday morning.
On arrival, Mr Burden found half a dozen pumpkins had been smashed and a mannequin dressed as a witch for a display had been dragged from a shed and was missing one of its arms.
The offenders had tipped over a portable toilet and, Mrs Burden said, they had even defecated on the ground outside it.
“It’s just frustrating when you have worked so hard and some people feel the need to spoil it – this is a place mainly for families and young children,” she said.
This is the second time the couple have opened the field up to visitors for the Halloween season after it proved successful last year.
But that first year was also not without its problems as the site was targeted then by thieves who made off with a number of items.
The latest incident has now resulted in CCTV cameras being installed.
The pastures will be open again tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday for pumpkin picking and Halloween crafts.
Coinciding with the half-term holiday week, families will then be able to visit from 23rd until Halloween itself on 31st October. Mrs Burden added there may be a couple of extra opening dates afterwards.
She concluded: “It’s mindless and sad what has happened, but it’s not going to stop us. We’ll carry on and we’ll see everyone at the weekend.”
Social media users shared their disgust at the vandalism and their support for the owners in comments on a post on the Pumpkin Pastures Facebook page about what had happened.
One wrote: “Sorry to hear about this. I hope the idiots responsible are caught.
“Too much vandalism happening in town. I am sure the police have an idea who it is, but until they are caught in the act the police are powerless.”
In response to the feedback, another post from Pumpkin Pastures said: “Thank you all for your comments and shares.
“We now have cameras down there so if they come back they’ll be caught. Very annoying and sad for the kids it’s meant for. We will be back Saturday all cleaned up.”
Those with information about the vandalism should contact Hampshire police on 101, quoting crime reference number 44190368776, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.