Chicken raid update: Pets’ corner owner stunned by support after volunteers fix trashed allotment

Since Ian Curry had his Holder House allotment broken into and hens stolen he has been receiving help from the community to clean up the space. 'From left, David Hind, Luke Towler,  Gary Stevens and Terry Hallam with Les Crabtree.
Since Ian Curry had his Holder House allotment broken into and hens stolen he has been receiving help from the community to clean up the space. 'From left, David Hind, Luke Towler, Gary Stevens and Terry Hallam with Les Crabtree.

A South Tyneside father who aims to create a pets’ corner for youngsters says he has been stunned by the support he has received after a break-in at his allotment plot.

Ian Curry had been turning land at Holder House Allotments, in Whiteleas, South Shields, into a place where children can go and spend time with a variety of animals.

Luke Towler of Deerness Esh Group is among those lending a hand.

Luke Towler of Deerness Esh Group is among those lending a hand.

But thieves ransacked the site, stealing Silkie hens he was to use for his the corner on December 23.

Since then, the 41-year-old has been inundated with help and support to get him back on track,

As well as donations of fencing to make his site more secure, he has also seen volunteers pitching in to clear the site.

The father-of-two, from Fellgate Estate, in Jarrow, said: “I’ve been struck by how helpful and professional everyone has been since the break-in.

I’ve been struck by how helpful and professional everyone has been since the break-in. Everyone has been going the extra mile to help me.”

Ian Curry

“I have been especially impressed with Deerness Esh Group. For a big company, they are very community spirited and I’d like to say a big thank you to all of their team and colleagues.”

Mr Curry has also received support from Les Crabtree, of gardening and fencing firm Crabtree and Sons, who helped to remove rubbish and tree cuttings from the site; Andy Chapman and Roy Nunn from housing grouop Isos; Bill McGill from South Tyneside’s Recycling Village and building firm Taylor Wimpey.

Deerness Fencing & Landscaping is also donating fencing and scaffolding material for a privacy screen.

Mr Curry added: “It is our plan to turn the land into a place which can provide therapeutic activity for those with special and complex needs.

Ian Curry had seven hens stolen from his Holder House allotment, where he is hoping to set up a community garden.

Ian Curry had seven hens stolen from his Holder House allotment, where he is hoping to set up a community garden.

“The site will also hold open days for the community so that people can come and visit our petting area and learn more about the various animals.

“I’d also like to thank Chris, Paul, Bobby our neighbour, Darren, Jason and Sarah for their help when I initially got the garden.”

Jim Bates, managing director of Deerness Fencing & Landscaping, part of Esh Group, said: “We are delighted to help this really worthwhile community scheme in South Shields.

“When our senior estimating and purchasing manager visited the site we could see how much help was needed.

David Hind of Deerness Esh Group helps with the clean-up of the trashed allotment.

David Hind of Deerness Esh Group helps with the clean-up of the trashed allotment.

Together with our supplier Beaver84 we’ve agreed to donate temporary fencing, which will help secure the perimeter of the site and provide internal pens for the pets.

“We really wish Ian and all his colleagues and volunteers the very best with their tremendous plans.”