Jill Dando memorial garden might be removed after being repeatedly trashed by vandals

The garden created in memory of murdered TV presenter Jill Dando in Weston-Super-Mare was vandalised on Saturday night and now the volunteers who look after it have said it might have to be removed

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  • 12:24, 12 Oct 2021
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A garden created in memory of murdered TV presenter Jill Dando has been trashed by vandals and may have to be closed permanently, says the volunteer group which looks after it.


In April 2009 the much-loved Crimewatch presenter and journalist was shot dead outside her London home in a murder that shocked the nation.

The garden in Grove Park in Weston-Super-Mare, where she was born and raised, was created in 2001 after her death, which remains unsolved.

The garden was designed and constructed by the BBC's own Ground team as a tribute to Jill.

It featured a host of plants and colours which were special to the presenter, including Roses, Clematis, Lavender and various trees and climbers.

Much-loved Crimewatch presenter and journalist Jill Dando was shot dead outside her London home


But the garden was vandalised on Saturday night – after being targeted multiple times previously.

Organisation Friends of Grove Park who help maintain the Somerset Park have said they may remove the memorial to curb the relentless damage:

Johnny Boxhall, 54, from Weston-super-Mare said: "It's mindless. We've repaired and patched it up countless times now.

"It's got to the point where we don't see the point in doing it anymore as the bunch of feral f***wits will just tear it apart again".

Friends of Grove Park volunteer Johnny Boxshall with the remnants of the vandalised pergoda

Friends of Grove Park / SWNS)

Several small trees were snapped in the attack, including a dwarf acer and a cherry laurel, and various wooden pagodas were destroyed.

Johnny said: "There's so much time and effort which goes into repairing it that I think it's time it has to come to an end. Hopefully we can replace it with an iron structure of some sort.

"We don't want to get rid of it. There will always be a memorial to Jill Dando but this just can't go on. They just do it for the heck of it and it's just such a shame.

"Why you would rip it apart it beyond me. Truth be told I'd love to take a baseball bat to them but I'm not allowed."

The garden in Grove Park in Weston-Super-Mare where Jill was was born and raised was created in 2001

Friends of Grove Park / SWNS)

The garden was vandalised on Saturday night

Friends of Grove Park / SWNS)

Police have attempted to confront the issue, with officers patrolling the area in case of any further attempts to vandalise the park, but do not patrol the site in the evening when the vandals seem to strike.

Johnny added: "We tell the police and the PCSOs about the anti-social behaviour to the garden but they turn up at the wrong time.

"They work a 9-5 so popping over at 9am and another visit at 4pm isn't going to sort out the feral teenagers.

"We're going to have to act on it ourselves which will more than likely mean removing it and replacing with an iron structure."

Anyone with information about the vandal attack should contact police on 101.

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