YOBS have caused thousands of pounds of damage after trashing more than half the plots at Blackburn’s biggest allotment site.

Sheds were torched, doors and polytunnels slashed and vegetables ripped out of the ground in the rampage at the site off St. James’ Road, Blackburn.

Bosses at the Teak Street Allotments said tenants have been left heartbroken at the damage which happened in the early hours yesterday (TUES).

Around 50 plots were vandalised and police said the scale of the damage was one of the worst seen at an allotment site in the town.

Investigations are now being completed at the site, which houses 87 plots and is the borough’s largest. It attracts enthusiasts from across Blackburn and Darwen and has a substantial waiting list.

Shocked tenants are now assessing the full level of damage at the site.

In one of the worst incidents tearful mother and daughter Mary Albin, 61, and Shirley Baxter, 41, found that their shed and its contents had been burned down.

Mrs Albin, who lives in the Daisyfield area of Blackburn, said: “It is really upsetting to see what has happened. You scrimp and save to buy all of the stuff for the allotment and now it’s all gone in an instant.

“I could ring the necks of the people who did this.

“There is a lot of anger among us. I think the main thing people are thinking is that it is just not fair.”

Mrs Baxter, who works at the Lark Hill medical centre, said: “You just wonder what goes on in people’s heads to do something like this.

“I am sick to my stomach. I loved the shed. It was my little bolthole from the world.”

Allotment committee member Lesley Bibby, 47, of Intack, said security was already tight at the scene. Tenants must enter the site through a locked gate and the allotments are surrounded by a six-foot high fence with spikes on it.

She said: “There is so much damage it is difficult to take it all in. At the moment we know that around half of the allotments have suffered some form of vandalism but it could be many more. There is a huge amount of damage.”

Irene Heaton, 63, who has had an allotment for 30 years with her husband Harry, 65, said: “It is terrible what has happened.

“It is just not fair.”

Police Constable Simon Keighley is the area’s neighbourhood officer and is leading the investigation.

He said: “Sheds have been broken in to, there is criminal damage and there have been thefts. It must have been a group of people just because of the sheer scale of the damage.”

The vandalism follows an incident at the Witton Allotments in Blackburn when a building used as a store and a shop was torched in March.