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Couple’s despair at Tomintoul ‘field of hope’ memorial garden for cancer victims being vandalised by bikers

Mike and Des Budd say the vandalism at the Tomintoul field of hope is "disrespectful".
Mike and Des Budd say the vandalism at the Tomintoul field of hope is "disrespectful".

A devastated Tomintoul couple have revealed the pain of continuing to repair a “field of hope” memorial garden from repeated vandalism.

Mike Budd and his wife Des organised more than 8,000 daffodil bulbs to be planted in the Moray village more than four years ago.

It was hoped the spectacular floral display would create a focal point for locals to remember loved ones lost to cancer while raising awareness of charity Marie Curie.

However, the Tomintoul field of hope has since been blighted by repeated vandalism with vehicles continuously driving over the ground.

“It’s really distressing to think that people have so little respect for a memorial garden for those who have died from cancer.”

Mike Budd

Large boulders were installed in 2019 to prevent cars from tearing up the ground, but in recent weeks tyre tracks from a motorbike have been left in the earth.

Mr Budd, who lost both his parents to cancer, said: “Every time it happens I have had to go down and fill in the tracks with top soil and replant what I can.

“It’s really distressing to think that people have so little respect for a memorial garden for those who have died from cancer.

“It’s even more upsetting at the moment because the daffodils are starting to come through, we’ve got little three-inch shoots at the moment, so it’s really autumn before you can repair the real damage and replant them now.”

Des and Mike Budd at the Tomintoul field of hope.

The field of hope in Tomintoul, which is near the junction with the A939 Lecht road, has become a landmark in the Cairngorm village in recent years, despite the vandalism.

Mr and Mrs Budd, who lost her mother and two brothers to cancer, say a sign has been put up surrounding the ground to warn people about the presence of the growing flowers.

However, both are eager for more warnings to be put up to make passers-by aware.

Mr Budd said: “We’ve talked to the Crown Estate about putting another sign up next to the car park.

“The field is mentioned in pamphlets about Tomintoul, so it is almost something of a tourist attraction.

“It’s probably only one or two people who are doing it but it’s still disrespectful.”

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