Anger as bowls green damaged by vandals

Dave Walters, honorary secretary of Strawberry Gardens Bowling Club, with damage on the green.
Dave Walters, honorary secretary of Strawberry Gardens Bowling Club, with damage on the green.

A Fleetwood bowling club which is set to open a new £106,000 clubhouse pavilion has been hit by a vandal attack which could have ruined the new season.

The Strawberry Gardens Bowls Club’s is excitedly awaiting the opening of the new facility, which will boast an entrance lobby, changing rooms, ladies and gents toilets, a club kitchen, office, storeroom and workshop with greenkeeping equipment.

When it is officially opened in a just a few weeks, in time for the new season in April, it will set up the club for a new season of great promise.

Located behind the Strawberry Hardens pub, on Poulton Road, the club boasts several teams and plays host to some of the matches in the annual Fleetwood Bowls Festival in the summer.

But last week someone got onto the club’s plush bowling green and emptied what appears to be a corrosive substance, possibly weedkiller, onto the turf.

It has caused areas of grass to burn away and had the damage been in a more central position, it could have seriously undermined the club’s season.

Dave Walters, honorary secretary of the club, said: “This is just what we don’t need, with the clubhouse set to open in a few weeks and the new season almost here.

“We have been planning things meticulously and then someone comes in and does this.

“I’ve no idea why someone would do something like this.

“Fortunately, because of its position, the bowlers will be able to work around it and it won’t affect our matches here.

“But will take a few months to grow back so this could have been much more serious.”

Mr Walters said the police had been informed about the incident, which occurred between Wednesday February 10 and Tuesday February 16.

The damage only came to light when Mr Walters went to inspect the green on Wednesday last week.

The new pavilion was made possible when the club received a £75,000 grant last year after a successful bid to Sport England.

Additional cash came from a number of Fleetwood businesses which sponsored the event.

A spokesman for Fleetwood Police confirmed the club had made contact about the incident and the matter was being investigated.