A COMMUNITY has been left reeling after a memorial allotment shed was destroyed by an arson attack last week.

The arson, at the allotment site in Romanby, near Northallerton, has upset both allotment-holders and the wider community as the shed had been set up in memory of Paul Brennan, known as Bren.

A memorial was created in his name with Herriot Hospice Homecare and ‘The Allotmenteers’ on site have been growing vegetables for the charity in his memory.

The community shed was set up to protect plot owners from the elements while working, and as a storage area for items that had been picked.

North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information about the fire on April 17.

Officers said the building was set on fire at about 10.30pm on Saturday.

The allotments are at the junction of Mill Lane and Romanby Road in Romanby.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area on Saturday, April 17 night or has any other information is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 12210100309, or to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Bren was cared for in the last days of his life in November 2019 by Herriot Hospice Homecare carers. The Allotmenteers group donate the proceeds from the vegetables they grow and sell to support Herriot Hospice Homecare’s care and support across Hambleton and Richmondshire.

Founding member of the Allotmenteers, Jon Stephenson, said at the time of the shed going up: “Following the death of our dear friend Bren in November 2019, we decided to set up a memorial fund in his name to say thank you to Herriot Hospice Homecare for all the support and comfort they provided to him and his family.

“We started ‘The Allotmenteers’ project in Bren’s memory. In his last summer months, he would take a daily walk and would come to the allotment, sit under the shade of our plum tree and listen to the birdsong, enjoying the peace and quiet.

“We have set up the memorial fund with Herriot Hospice Homecare, to not only thank them for the amazing work they do through their care for those living with a terminal illness, but also to draw attention to the other invaluable services they offer. We know of many in our community who have benefitted from the other support services that Herriot provides.”