Protesters mar planting on The Green in Marlborough
2:57pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in Latest News
Volunteers battled on with a tree planting ceremony despite the event turning sour when protesters turned up on The Green in Marlborough to demonstrate their disapproval.
The protest was spearheaded by Vivien Clark who lives on The Green. She and five other protesters, who are thought not to be from the town, heckled and argued with volunteers planting trees on The Green.
Neighbours had leaflets through their doors calling the planting “vandalism”.
Plans to make the orchard a feature of the town were first mooted three years ago and the first planting took place in 2010.
Since then hundreds of trees have been planted.
Philippa Davenport, chairman of the Marlborough Community Orchard, said: “It leaves a nasty taste in your mouth because, until now, we were riding on such a high.
“When we canvassed the houses around The Green there was one person who wasn’t keen on the idea but she said she would go along with it.
“But on the day she got a group of friends to come and protest and they were very noisy and rude to the mayor.
“I feel very sad because this is something that was supposed to be by the community for the community but if there are enough people against it who want to go to the town council and question their decision then, of course, I will go with the majority.”
Mayor Edwina Fogg said: “Philippa Davenport followed all the relevant processes and as far as I’m aware there wasn’t a letter of objection at the time.
“Mrs Clark told us she did not like the idea but because she was the only one she said would abide by a majority decision and as far as I’m aware there wasn’t a letter of objection.
“Just as I arrived for my ceremonial role the protesters turned up, I didn’t think it was appropriate to get involved but it got quite heated. It was quite unexpected and unMarlborough-like really.”
Mrs Clark told the Gazette: “I don’t want to talk to anybody about this thank you.”