A green-fingered pensioner has seen his beautiful garden utterly destroyed by vandals just days after it on a top award.
Ray Winsley has been left heartbroken after thousands of pounds of flowers were destroyed by weedkiller poured all over his lawn and hanging baskets at his home in Bishop Sutton, near Bristol.
The 79-year-old has dedicated years to maintaining his garden, filling it with window boxes, hanging baskets and pots of beautiful flowers, and was named overall winner in the ‘containers visible from pavement’ category at the Bath in Bloom 2016 Awards over the summer.
His garden is now a scene of devastation, with hydrangeas and begonias destroyed in the pointless act of vandalism, while plants are all shrivelled and the lawn is brown.
Mr Winsley has now spoken of his devastation – and revealed he won’t let the vandals win.
He said: “I’ve taken care of my garden all my life but it is only the past five years since I moved here I have been doing this.
“This is my hobby. My wife Sylvia used to love seeing the flowers out the front. She’s disgusted.
“People used to take photographs as they came past, it looked so pretty – why would someone do this?
“They even poured the poison into my water butt. I had to empty it and clean it out to remove any trace and make it safe to use.”
Residents have rallied around Mr Winsley, who has vowed to win the gardening award for a third time.
One lady said: “I think it is disgusting that people who are doing something good for the community, contributing to the beauty and splendour of our area are being attacked and having all their good work undone.”
Avon and Somerset Police has urged anyone with any information about the vandalism to contact them.