Members of the 'Friends of Bailey Park' were dealt a devastating blow this week as vandals targeted their efforts just before their participation in the annual Wales in Bloom competition.

The group, known for its dedication to beautifying public spaces, expressed dismay over the destruction of their "This Nature isn’t Neat" sign.

“This Nature isn’t Neat” display board was originally placed near the Fairfield Car park entrance. However, volunteers were in disbelief to find that it had disappeared, especially with the Wales in Bloom judging rapidly approaching.

The board was unexpectedly found a few days later and repaired by a volunteer, only to be torn from the frame once more and this time - completely beyond repair.

A member of the group commented: “The Friends of Bailey Park are constantly up against casual plant theft, damaged items such as planters and bird tables, and broken glass strewn everywhere.

“Sometime we dread arriving on a Monday morning, wondering what we will find. Our valuable time and funding is then wasted as we sort out the mess.”

Members took to social media, expressing their shock in finding the sign maliciously torn from its board by what they described as "irresponsible" and "selfish" individuals.

“When months of preparation and very hard work are ruined within a few minutes, the feelings of hurt, anger and disillusionment can be very strong.

“However, we have learned that if we walk away, these vandals have won the battle, so we keep on striving away in order to make Bailey Park a place to give pleasure to so many visitors, both far and near. Be in no doubt, the Wales in Bloom judge will be made aware of our difficulties.

“We enjoy a huge amount of support right across the county and it is possible that something might have been caught on CCTV camera.”

The group has been promised a new sign before Abergavenny is visited by Wales in Bloom competition judges, who are due to arrive next week.

Friends of Bailey Park
Volunteers have been diligently working ahead of the Wales in Bloom competition, set for next week. (Friends of Bailey Park)

The Friends of Bailey Park have been actively preparing for the event, where their meticulously tended gardens will be evaluated alongside other volunteer-maintained sites across the town, including Linda Vista Gardens, the Community Orchard, and Castle Meadows.

Despite the setback, members remain determined to showcase their community spirit and resilience.